At last I can get back to watching games again, by the month of August I would normally have been to quite a few games, but with the authorities taking their time in granting our license all games were on hold. The blog is now in its fifth season and hopefully it fills a wee gap in terms of news on the youth teams.
Last season was disappointing with the under 19′s finishing fifth and going out of the youth cup in our first game against a poor Dundee United side. The under 17′s finished the season on a high, winning the Glasgow Cup on penalties against Celtic.
Not sure of the structure of the blog for the new season, with Rangers demotion to division 3 we wouldn’t have been in the SPL U19 League, but that league has been scrapped and replaced with a new U20 league with a few 1st divison clubs included. As far as I can gather Rangers will not be allowed to play in this league either, so it is likely we will play in the SFL Reserve League , SFL U19 League, or both.
I’m not convinced the change to U20 will work, the gap from U17 to U20 is pretty big for most players and with three over age players allowed, a lot of younger players could struggle to get game time at their clubs. I would have scrapped U15′s and U17′s and made U16′s and U18′s dual age groups and therefore narrowing the gap to U20′s.
Once again there have been a few additions added over the summer, with a batch from last season’s Under 15′s stepping up. Rangers may decide to enter the SFL U17′s League and use these fixtures to give these younger players game time this season.
With the club’s current situation the youth setup is even more important and there is a real opportunity for any young player with the ability and desire to grab their chance. With Barrie McKay, Lewis McLeod and Robbie Crawford from last year’s youths already appearing in the first team hopefully a few more can push on.
The recruitment of older youth players could have been better, last season’s recruits from English clubs were disappointing and by the season’s end none of them were in the youth side. Another concern was the number of players recruited for development fees that were subsequently released before they even made the youth team. In the past year this category was touching double figures. This is two areas where we really have to expect better value when we are in a position to invest again.
The club starts development games against the other Scottish clubs from Under 11′s, with squads at 12′s, 13′s, 14′s, 15′s and of course 17′s.
The fixtures for the first have of this season are on the link below:-
The four older age groups usually play on Sundays, two at home and two away, again against the same club. These games are 11-a-side and usually consist of three 30 minute periods, the under 17′s being the exception, playing the standard 45 minutes each-way, players can come on and off through out. Directions to Murray Park are shown below. Murray Park is situated on Auchenhowie Road.
No results are recorded or points awarded at any of the age groups, the focus being on (allegedly) player development. The clubs are discouraged from publishing any details/scores from these games. If there is any major news or developments from the younger age groups I’ll post them here.