Archive for January, 2010

17’s Fightback Overcomes Hibs

January 31, 2010

Rangers 5 Hibs 2

Rangers Under 17’s came from 1-2 down at half-time to comfortably beat Hibs 5-2 in a friendly this afternoon at Murray Park. It was the Ibrox youngsters who struck first with an early goal in the sixth minute, Michael Noble and Robbie Crawford worked a throw in down in the left corner and Noble’s superb cross was headed home by Anthony Marenghi.

Ten minutes later they came close to doubling their lead, Lee Cochrane collected a clearance on the left and set up Marenghi, his effort was deflected past the keeper but the Hibs defender cleared before it crossed the line. Within two minutes Hibs were level when a shot from wide on the left caught out Blair Currie at his near post.

Hibs threatened again when a series of 1-2’s set up a chance for their left-back but he shot wide. At the other end  Chris Ketterer set up a shooting chance from distance for Nicky Main and the Hibs keeper saved low to his left at the expense of a corner. Another throw in worked by the same pair as earlier with the cross this time coming from Robbie Crawford gave Lewis McLeod a chance but his shot was blocked.

The visitors then took the lead on 26 minutes, Chris Ketterer just failed to cut out a through ball and the Hibs striker advanced to slot past Currie. That set back Rangers for a spell and it not until five minutes before the break when Marenghi cut in from the right and tested the keeper who saved comfortably. Then just before half-time Crawford’s play on the left gave Main another opportunity from distance this time the keeper tipping over.

Half-Time:- Rangers 1 Hibs 2

Five minutes into the second half and good play in the middle of the park by Marenghi gave Crawford space and his attempted lob had the Hibs keeper holding on at full stretch. Another five minutes and Rangers were level, Cochrane set up a shooting opportunity for McLeod with the keeper parrying low to his right Robbie Crawford was on hand to net the rebound.

Four minutes later the Murray Park youngsters were back in front, a Steven Hetherington corner from the left was cleared to the edge of the box, from where Robbie Crawford’s shot spun over the Hibs defence and into the top corner. Within a couple of minutes Rangers increased their lead, Anthony Marenghi collecting a poor clearance from the keeper, side stepping a defender and finding the net from just inside the penalty area.

On 65 minutes only a stunning double save prevented Rangers scoring again, another Hetherington corner was headed goalwards by Kyle McAusland which the keeper parried, Lee Cochrane seemed certain to score but the Hibs keeper managed to get is hand to his effort to divert it over the bar. With quarter of an hour remaining Hetherington broke forward from the centre circle and played the ball up to Mark Taylor, who in turn fed Frankie Owens who beat the keeper from the left hand corner of the box.

With five minutes left on the clock Hibs broke down the right and it took a great defensive header from McAusland to clear for a corner. The final effort of the game coming a minute later when Ewan McNeil broke forward to test Hibs substitute keeper from 25 yards.

Full-Time:- Rangers 5 Hibs 2

Rangers :- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil, Kyle McCausland, Chris Ketterer, Michael Noble; Lewis McLeod (Michael Mosson 74mins), Nicky Main (Frankie Owens 61mins), Steven Hetherington, Robbie Crawford; Anthony Marenghi, Lee Cochrane (Mark Taylor 72mins).

Youths Hit Six

January 30, 2010

Rangers 6 St.Johnstone 1

Rangers Under 19’s continued their climb up the table by hitting St. Johnstone for six at Murray Park this morning. A heavy overnight frost saw the youth pitch unplayable, but with the under soil heating on the professional pitch the game went ahead, even though it meant the kick-off was delayed for almost an hour. Billy Kirkwood gave the side that won against Aberdeen last week the nod, while the Saints side included Zander Clark, Sean Porter and Darren Kelly who were on Rangers books at younger age groups.

The Rangers youngsters got off to the perfect start taking the lead in the first minute. A free-kick from the right by Rhys McCabe was glanced on by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith was on hand to net from close range. The visitors then found themselves two down seven minutes later, Kyle Hutton and Max Wright combined in midfield to release Kane Hemmings in the inside left channel, he advanced to shoot across keeper Zander Clark into the corner of the net.

Within two minutes Rangers had another chance McCabe releasing Gordon Dick inside the box only to see his effort deflected wide. On 17 minutes Rangers went three up with a goal created by some great wing play by Naismith, he skinned full-back Ross Alexander on the left and his low cross was perfect for Archie Campbell who beat Clark from around eight yards.

Up to this point St, Johnstone had shown little in attack but midway through the half Rangers had an escape when the visitors had what looked strong penalty claims when Grant Adam appeared to bring down striker Rikki McIntosh inside the box. It looked like the Saints would be doubly punished when Campbell sent Hemmings clear and just when he looked certain to score he shot wide.

Rangers always looked likely to add to their lead and on 34 minutes a good passing move sent Dick to the byline and his low cross brought out a fine save from Clark. The Saints defence was breached again a minute later, Kal Naismith was fouled near the byline out on the left, Max Wright took the resultant free-kick and Chris Scott was on hand to power home a header. It also saw the last involvement for Gordon Dick who picked up an injury and was replaced by Dylan McGeough. Right on the stroke of half-time  a poor clearance was gathered by Campbell thirty yards out and he sent a shot narrowly wide.

Half-Time:- Rangers 4 St.Johnstone 0

It didn’t take Rangers long to be creating chances in the second half. Hutton, Campbell and Darren Cole combined on the right and Hutton had a great chance when Campbell cut the ball back, but his shot was weak and Clark saved easily. The respite only lasted a minute and when McCabe sent Wright clear his cross into the box was a carbon copy of Naismith’s in the first half and the result was the same with Archie Campbell converting from around the same range.

Rangers then grabbed a sixth goal on the hour mark, great play from McGeough saw him cut inside to the edge of the box, keeper Clark seemed to have his shot covered only to fumble it from his grasp giving Kane Hemmings the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net. Campbell then had a chance to complete his hat-trick, chasing an Adam clearance he won the challenge with keeper Clark but was forced wide and his effort was cleared.

With four minutes remaining St. Johnstone grabbed a consolation goal, their substitute made progress on the right and his low cross found its was to former Ranger Darren Kelly who scored from close range. The game ended where it had started with Rangers on the attack and Kyle McAusland came close when his effort following a McGeough corner was deflected over.

Full-Time:- Rangers 6 St. Johnstone 1

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski (Kyle McAusland 72 mins), Darren Cole; Max Wright, Gordon Dick (Dylan McGeough 36mins), Kyle Hutton, Kal Naismith; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Christiano Kisuka 79mins)

Not Used:- Mark Weir, Scott Durie, Steven Forbes.

St.Johnstone:- Zander Clark; Ross Alexander (Chris Moffat 46  mins), Sean Porter, John Lindsay, Ryan Sullivan; Liam Caddis, Martyn Shields (Keiran O’Hear 46mins), Matt Helmsley, Darren Kelly; Steve May, Rikki McIntosh (Scott ????? 83mins)

17’s Queen’s Park Friendly

January 26, 2010

Rangers 2 Queen’s Park 1

The Under 17’s came out of cold storage with a friendly victory over Queens Park at Murray Park tonight. The lineup included one over age player, Christiano Kisuka and new signing from Alloa Athletic Callum Wylie. Rangers other new signing, Chris Ketterer from St.Mirren came on as a substitute in the second half.

And it was Christiano Kisuka that gave Rangers an early lead after nine minutes, running on to a Dylan McGeough through ball to beat the keeper. The lead only lasted two minutes when following a corner from the right the referee saw an infringement inside the box and awarded Queens a penalty which they duly converted.

Five minutes later Callum Wylie and Christiano Kisuka combined on the left to set up a chance for Nicky Main that the keeper saved low to his left. The next chance fell to Kisuka when he shrugged off a challenge at the edge of the box when played through by Anthony Marenghi, but he was forced wide when he tried to go round the keeper and shot over from a narrow angle.

The second was only delayed and Christiano Kisuka made no mistake on 26 minutes when sent clear by another Marenghi pass. Five minutes later Lee Cochrane almost added a spectacular third, latching on to a poor clearance from the visitor’s keeper, his effort from 35 yards came back of the crossbar.

McGeough then set  up Kisuka with another chance but he fired over. Then ten minutes before half-time only a fantastic double save prevented Rangers increasing their lead. The Queens Park keeper parried a Wylie shot low to his left then denied Kisuka at point-blank range from the rebound.

Queens then had a rare opportunity at the other end following a corner, the ball falling to a Queens player inside the box but he could only shoot over. Just before half-time a corner at the other end gave us the last chance of the half, when it was cleared outside the penalty area Kyle McAusland gathered to hit a great effort just wide with the keeper beaten.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 Queens Park 1

Rangers continued to enjoy the majority of possession in the second half, but the Queens Park defence limited their efforts to long range and the best two chances of the half fell to the visitors.

Ten minutes after the break and attack down the right saw the Queens striker with a chance when it was played inside only to  shoot wide. With nine minutes remaining another attack down the right created a chance when the wide player cut inside,  but was denied by a fine Blair Currie save.

Rangers Lineup:- Blair Currie; Ewan McNeil (Michael Mosson 83mins), Kyle McAusland, Michael Noble, Steven Hetherington; Lee Cochrane (Chris Ketterer76 mins), Nicky Main (Frankie Owens 81mins), Dylan McGeough (Robbie Crawford 61mins), Anthony Marenghi; Callum Wylie (Lewis McLeod 46 mins), Christiano Kisuka ( Mark Taylor 83mins).

Hemmings Hat-Trick Seals Points

January 23, 2010

Rangers 3 Aberdeen 1

A first-half hat-trick from Kane Hemmings secured the three points at Murray Park this afternoon. Unfortunately the 1pm kick-off meant it wasn’t practical to been at Murray Park and the first team game at Ibrox. So no detailed report.

The youths only came back from their winter break in Turkey on Wednesday where they had wins against Dutch amatuer side VV Glanerbrug and the Azerbaijan Under 21 side and a 3-3 draw with Lokomotive Moscow. I got some bum information that they had another 3-3 draw against some mystery opponents, but I can now confirm there only was the three games.

Rangers took an early lead in the 2nd minute when Kane Hemings was played through and he ran on to beat the keeper.

The second goal came on the 41st minute when a free-kick from Kal Naismith created panic in the Aberdeen box and when Kamil Wiktorski challenged keeper Scott Bain the ball broke to Kane Hemmings who fired home.

On the stroke of half-time Kane Hemmings completed his hat-trick to give the young Gers a three goal lead at the break. A deep cross from the left by Kal Naismith saw the English youngster beat Bain with a looping header.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Aberdeen 0

Rangers team today was as follows:-

Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski, Darren Cole; Max Wright (Dylan McGeough), Kyle Hutton, Gordon Dick, Kal Naismith, Archie Campbell (Ewan McNeil), Kane Hemmings (Kyle McAusland).

Not Used: Mark Weir, Steven Forbes, Michael Noble, Cristiano Kisuka.

Gers Sign Alloa Youngster

January 20, 2010


Just seen this on the Alloa Athletic website, Callum is the one of the trialists that played in the recent game  for the under 17’s against an Australian touring side.


“Callum Wyllie who is another player who has progressed through the youth system at Recreation Park, has signed for Glasgow Rangers. Callum Wyllie is 15 years old, he joined Alloa Athletic in the summer of 2007 at the age of 12 when he was brought to the club by coach Tam McPake for the Under 14 squad. He played this season for the Under 16’s and Under 17’s and also made an appearance for the first team in the summer at the victorious Oban Keyline Tournament, making his appearance against Oban Saints. Callum plays up front and has now joined Rangers Under 17’s, moving to a full time contract when he finishes school later this year. He had a spell training at Murray Park last year and Rangers dutifully followed up and signed him in the correct and appropriate manner ahead of Hearts who also wished to sign him.”

Youths In Turkey

January 18, 2010

It has proved difficult getting information on the youth’s games in their winter training camp in Turkey, the Lokomotive Moscow game being the exception. On Friday they had another 3-3 draw but I have been unable to find out any details of the lineup, scorers or even who they played.

Today they took on the Azerbaijan Under 21 side, although they may not be one of Europe’s top football nations, I thought the age difference would make it a stiff test.

From what I can gather, after a goalless first half, Rangers ran out 3-0 winners. The first coming from the penalty spot and two late goals completed the scoring. Picture above shows Gordon Dick and I think Kane Hemmings in action. No lineup details at present,  scorers were  Gordon Dick, Kyle Hutton & Kane Hemmings.

More pics from the game here:-

Scotland Under 17’s
While their club mates were in Turkey, four Rangers players were in Malta representing Scotland in two friendlies against the hosts. On Monday 11th January, Lewis McLeod captained what was basically an under 16’s friendly in a 2-0 win. Dylan McGeough came on as a substitute for Lewis late in the game.

Two days later and Michael Noble, Kyle McAusland, Lewis McLeod and Dylan McGeough all played the Under 17’s 8-0 rout. With both Kyle and Dylan being among the scorers.

All Square With Russians

January 14, 2010

There was a change to the under 19’s schedule in the training camp in Turkey. Yesterday they took on the youth team from top Russian side Lokomotive Moscow, the game ending in a 3-3 draw.

Lokomotive Moscow 3 Rangers 3

Rangers under 19’s came from a 3-1 deficit at half time to draw 3-3 with top Russian youth side Lokomotive Moscow at the Adora Golf Resort in Turkey. The Ibrox youngsters threatened early when Max Wright played Kane Hemmings through, only to see his shot rebound from the keeper’s left hand post. The goal was only delayed and they took the lead on eight minutes, a Kal Naismith corner on from the right was headed home by Chris Scott.

The Russians equalised in 21 minutes through a goalkeeping error from Grant Adam, he allowed Voynov’s shot from the edge of the box to slip through his grasp and into the net. Lokomotiv then took the lead five minutes later from a very soft penalty. Chris Scott was harshly adjudged to have fouled inside the penalty area and Lokomotive’s skipper Fomin netted from the spot.

The Moscow side extended their lead on 32 minutes when Garakoev broke down the left and cut inside to shoot past Adam.

Half-Time:- Lokomotiv Moscow 3 Rangers 1

Another soft penalty award gave Rangers a life line two minutes into the second half. Naismith combined with Kyle Hutton to play the ball into the box where Max Wright was adjudged to have been impeded, Kyle Hutton stepped up to net from the spot. Rangers equalised on 76 minutes when substitutes Ewan McNeil and Steven Forbes combined with Max Wright to send Forbes to the byline, his cutback was slotted home by Max Wright from the edge of the six yard box.

Full Time:- Lokomotive Moscow 3 Rangers 3

The Lokomotiv squad: Stepanov (Korshunov, 46), Sharifi (V. Samohvalov, 46), N. Samohvalov, Bykov (Barsov, 60), Semyonov (S. Gatagov, 63), Garakoev (Vasyukov, 46), Fomin, Mironov (Kucharchuk, 46), Voynov (Smorodin, 46), Ozdoev (Kalaydzhan, 46), Murzaev (Djioev, 46).

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Rhys McCabe, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski, Gregg Wylde; Archie Campbell, Gordon Dick, Kyle Hutton, Max Wright; Kal Naismith, Kane Hemmings.

Subs:- Ewan McNeil, Steven Forbes

A short video and pics from the game be found here:-

 I have to say a big thanks to Lokomotiv Moscow here. Before I trawelled their excellent site with my basic knowledge of cyrillic, I sent them an e-mail requesting some details of the game. Not only did they give me their lineup and scorers but they said if I needed any more information to call their press officer who is in Turkey with their youth team, and gave me his mobile number !!!

Thankfully I managed to put this together without having to disturb Pavel. I think we could maybe learn something from Lokomotive Moscow here.

Youths Open With A Win In Turkey

January 13, 2010

Rangers Under 19’s are currently in Turkey during the winter break. This training camp is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme, which is part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning programme.

They are scheduled to have three games during the period of the camp, finding details of these games has proved very difficult. On Saturday they won 4-1 against a Dutch side VV Glanerbrug.

Rangers goals came from Kal Naismith (2), Gordon Dick & Archie Campbell. They will now take on a Turkish team on Friday and take on Azerbaijan’s under 19’s on Monday.

Rangers team on Saturday was as follows:-

Mark Weir; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Kamil Wiktorski, Gregg Wylde; Max Wright, Gordon Dick, Kyle Hutton, Rhys McCabe, Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings

Sub:- Kal Naismith

Thomas Madigage & Augustine Makalakalane

January 7, 2010

In August 1989 it was big news when two South African trialists arrived at Ibrox. They were brought over through a link with a former playing colleague of Jimmy Nicholl, South African Jomo Sono who played along side Jimmy at Toronto Blizzard. Both players were on the books of the team he owned, Jomo Cosmos.

There was quite a contrast between the players. Makalakalane was 25 years old and an established player in the South African league, where as Madigage was the new emerging teenage talent, who made his debut  two years  earlier for Jomo Cosmos as a 16-year-old.

From memory both players were involved in a friendly at Clydebank, Madigage scoring in a 4-2 win. Madigage played wide right and Makalakalane came on as a substitute in central midfield. I think Madigage also played as a sub in a game against Clyde, but the game I remember most was a friendly on a miserably wet night against Cumbernauld United. Madigage was pretty sensational seemingly passing players at will as he set up chance after chance.

Where as both players impressed during the trial period, Makalakalane’s age meant he was less likely to be offered a deal, but Rangers were pretty keen on securing the teenager Madigage. Unfortunately negotiations to bring him to Ibrox broke down and the deal was dead.

Both players went on to have “interesting” careers in the game, so I thought it would be worth a wee post.

Thomas Madigage

Starring for Rangers at a youth tournament in Italy, impressing on pre-season games and being dubbed “Pele” by his Rangers team mates it looked likely that  he would become a Rangers player, but it wasn’t to be.

A similar experience then followed at Manchester City, invited to and starring in an Under 19 tournament for the Maine Road club, the “Pele” tag again, but for one reason or another no signed contract at the end of it.

So it was with FC Zurich in 1990 that Thomas finally signed a professional contract in Europe. Unfortunately an ankle injury meant he only made four appearances for the Swiss club and his European adventure was over after one season.

It was back to South Africa and he managed to get back to a level where he gained for caps for his country. Starting with a substitute appearance against Mauritius in April 1993 in an African Nations Cup qualifier, this was followed by another from the bench in a friendly against Brazil in 1996. The same year he started against Ghana in a Four Nations Cup match, with his last appearance being a start against Holland in a friendly in June 1997.

He was in the news again in February 2001, when playing for Supersport United in a game live on TV, he suffered a cardiac contusion (bruising of the heart). He received treatment from the club medical staff  until a helicopter landed pitch to whisk him to hospital.

Fortunately Thomas soon made a complete recovery and today he is still involved in the game. He is now assistant coach to Gavin Hunt at Supersport United where they have guided the club to the last two Premier Soccer League Championships.

Augustine Makalakalane

As already mentioned Makalakalane was seven years older than Madigage when he was on trial at Ibrox, so he would have had to have been pretty exceptional to secure a deal.

He did go on to have a career that surpassed the younger player, who didn’t have his injury problems to seek.  He joined FC Zurich at the same time as Thomas, Augustine’s career in Switzerland lasting seven years, split between FC Zurich and FC Baden. He returned to South Africa to play for Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits University.

During his time in Switzerland he gained 14 caps for South Africa, making his debut against Cameroon in July 1992.  He played against teams of the quality of Argentina and Germany in friendlies, with his last cap coming in the African Nations Cup Finals of January 1996 against Egypt.

Like Madigage, Augustine is still involved in the game and is now coach of “Banyana Banyana”, the South African women’s team to you and me.

Where Are They Now – Adda Djeziri & Barjam Fetai

January 1, 2010

With the youth leagues in cold storage I have been trying to keep the interest in the blog up and following on from “Charlie’s Boots” post,  I thought I’d look at the young foreign players that have been on Rangers books in recent years. Some have arrived in a blaze of publicity and other have slipped into Murray Park quietly.

Adda Djeziri

Adda was Danish of Algerian parents and arrived in the January 2007 transfer window on loan till the end of the season from Boldklubben Frem.

A six foot plus winger he made an immediate impact on the youth team, in particular the victory against Celtic at New Broomfield, where his performance as a substitute was key in the ten man fight back, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2. A win that was crucial come end of the season in clinching the title.

As the season wore on he became less consistent and by the time we hammered Celtic 5-0 in the Youth Cup Final he was a substitute coming on in the closing minutes for Paul Emslie. In an interview with Algerian football magazine DZFoot he said that Rangers were keen to sign him but could not agree a fee with BoldklubbenFrem.

He then moved on to spend a loan spell with Leicester City before signing for Porstmouth in 2008. He wasn’t long on the south coast returning to Denmark initially with FC Hjørring before moving to his current club Vejle Boldklub, where he has been pretty much a regular this season.

Barjam Fetai

Macedonian born Barjam Fetai was a player that arrived at Rangers in a blaze of publicity. Signing for Rangers for a reported £200,000 from Danish club B93, having scored 12 goals in 23 appearances for the Danish minnows.

My earliest memory of Barjam’s impact was a Youth League game at Murray Park against Partick Thistle, when he scored two goals including a very late winner in a 2-1 win. Initially he made good progress culminating in a substitute appearance  in March 2004 as a late substitute for Michael Mols in a 4-1 win over Dunfermline Athletic.

Possibly the biggest impact he made at Ibrox was as a substitute in March 2005 for Inverness Caley Thistle during his loan spell with the highland club. Rangers having omitted to include a clause preventing him from playing, had their championships hopes dented by a late equaliser from Brian Prunty. Fortunately Nacho Novo and Helicopter Sunday saw everything work out okay in the end.

The start of the following season saw Barjam move to Danish side Silkeborg IF for a nominal fee, before moving to his current club FC Nordsjællan. It was with them he returned to Scotland to take on Queen Of The South in a UEFA Cup tie, starting at Palmerston and coming on as a sub in Denmark, in the Danes 4-2 aggregate victory. He continues to be a regular first team player with FC Nordsjællan