With the younger age groups on their winter break and the recent trend for older youth games to be “CLOSED DOOR”. I was thinking about a wee article to keep the blog ticking over.
This season’s journey in the third division has been interesting in many ways, one aspect that may not spring to the attention of most fans is the “former Rangers” in the oppositions ranks. So I have tried to highlight those that I remember or just heard of, I may have stretched the Rangers link in one or two cases, but in these cases I did see them play for “Rangers”
Apologies for anyone I’ve missed, I am sure there will be someone.
Scott Chaplain – Former Rangers youth player who wasn’t offered a pro contract. He has been a regular around the SFL since, making over 300 appearances for six different clubs.
Chris Jardine – Annan’s longest serving player joined Rangers along with Ross Milligan, Mark Nicol and Barry Nicholson all from the Dumfries area. Signed for Annan for life when the chairman secured him a ticket for the UEFA Cup Final in Manchester.
Devon Jacobs – Made the newspapers when he joined Rangers along with his triplet brothers Sheldon and Kyle. Came from the same boys club team as Darren Cole, Danny Wilson and Rhys McCabe. All three brothers were released by Rangers and joined elder brother Keaghan at Livingston.
Sean Fitzharris – Sean was at Rangers until under 15’s, he moved to Celtic when Gregg Wylde came in the opposite direction. Came back to haunt us by scoring in the 2010 Youth Cup Final.
Kieran Macdonald – Another who was at both halves of the Old Firm, started with Rangers before moving to Celtic and then on to Motherwell.
Kevin Turner – Not a player I remember at Rangers but I don’t doubt the reports saying he was at the club.
Jamie Winter – He was at Rangers from the age of 12 to 16 but I believe he chose to sign for Leeds United at 16. Never made the first team in his time at Elland Road and then had a short spell at Aberdeen. As a sub in this season’s game at Ibrox nailed his colours to the mast with a bit of banter with the crowd.
Leighton McIntosh – On loan at Montrose from Dundee, he was interesting both halves of the Old Firm. I saw him play and score for Rangers against Motherwell, opted to remain at Dundee and signed his first pro contract there.
Craig McLeish – Craig was at Rangers at the younger age groups and released around U14’s, more associated with Falkirk as a youth player.
Darren Kelly – A youth player at Rangers who was on the fringes of the youth team when released. He had spells at Hibs and St.Johnstone before dropping out the seniors before stepping up again and signing for Peterhead this year.
Ian Watt – “Chuckie” was highly rated as a youngster at Rangers and formed a potent strike force with John Fleck at the younger age groups. Capped at youth level he then missed a long period through injury. It’s fair to say he also had a few off field issues and was eventually released.
Blair Spittal – 17 year old Blair recently made his Queen’s Park debut as a substitute. He came through the Rangers system at the younger age groups alongside the likes of Darren Ramsay and Stuart Urquhart. Since being released a couple of years ago he has blossomed at Queens Park and impressed in games against Rangers.
Lawrence Shankland – I might be stretching it a bit to include Lawrence and I’m not even sure I seen him play. I have been assured he had an extended trial before it was decided not to sign him. Now a regular at Queens Park, and if rumours are to be believed Rangers are watching his progress.
Jordan White – On loan from Falkirk, Jordan was at Rangers before moving to Dunfermline.
Bradley Coyne – Son of Tommy, wasn’t a signed Rangers player but I did see him play a couple of trial games at centre back around U14’s . Later played for St.Mirren and was a decent striker at U19 level.
So it looks like Elgin City are the only club that don’t have a former Ranger in their squad.