Archive for August, 2020

Rangers V Blackburn 10 Years On

August 2, 2020

Ten years ago this week a Rangers youth side took on Blackburn Rovers at the Training Ground which Rangers won 3-2 with goals from Kal Naismith, Christiano Kisuka and Robbie Crawford. I don’t always get details of the opposition lineup but on this occasion I did. So I thought it would be interesting to see what happened to the players from both lineups.

Match report on the link below

https://rfcyouths.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/youths-hit-late-winner/

Looking at it both clubs look to have had a very similar outcome, none are at the really top level but a few are making a decent income from football. Its difficult to compare non league with Scottish juniors and the Irish Leagues. Rangers had more that made first team appearances but that is without doubt due to the fact the club were forced down the leagues.

RANGERS

Wayne Drummond – A free transfer from Millwall, seemed strange at the time but it was at a time when strange recruitment at the academy was not unusual. After a year at Rangers he returned to Northern Ireland and turned out for Ballymena, Crusaders and Colaraine. Now appears to be out the game.

Wayne Drummond

Adam Hunter – Adam came through the age groups and played either at full back or in midfield. On leaving Rangers he played for Ayr United and Arbroath before dropping into the juniors with Cumnock. Adam moved his current club Shotts Bon Accord in 2019.

Chris Hegarty – Another Northern Irish player who joined on a free transfer from Millwall. Centre Back Chris was a regular in Rangers season in League Two, but was limited to two appearances the following season. Returned to Northern Ireland with Linfield and has since played for Dungannon Swifts and his current club Crusaders. He gained two Northern Ireland Under 21 caps.

Darren Cole – Made is debut in a Champions League group match against Bursaspor in Turkey. Failed to build on that and a loan spell at Thistle and a couple further first team games was as good as it got. His Rangers contract was terminated when he failed to turn up for a pre-season friendly against Cambuslang Rangers in August 2013. A season at Morton and Livingston followed before dropping into the Juniors with Broxburn Athletic. He moved back into senior football in 2017 with Derry City and he is still with the League of Ireland club.

Darren Cole now at Derry City

Steven Hetherington – Signed for Rangers after being spotted at an FA Exit Trial having been released by Hartlepool. On his release from Rangers in 2011 he signed for Motherwell, during his two years at Fir Park he made three appearances with a further fourteen on a loan spell at Airdrie United. A spell in English non league with Celtic Nation and Crook Town followed before returning to Scotland and Alloa Athletic where he is now entering his seventh season.

Robbie Crawford – Robbie benefited from Rangers drop to the bottom league and made close to fifty first team appearances. He also had loan spells at Morton and Alloa Athletic, on leaving Rangers he joined Raith Rovers but left without playing a game. Three games for East Kilbride followed, scoring twice in those games. Since then he has played for FH in Iceland, IFK Mariehamn in Finland and his current club Charleston Battery in the US.

Andy Mitchell – Andy joined Rangers in July 2010 on a free transfer from Man City who he joined from Greenisland Boys Club. He made his Rangers debut in a Premiership game against Dundee United in 2011/12. Played a few games the following season in League Two before moving to Annan Athletic for 2013/14 season, with the move made permanent in January 2014. A move to Southport followed before returning to Annan on loan. On leaving Annan he returned home and signed for Crusaders and has since played for Linfield and now Larne.

Kamil Wiktorski – Polish recruit Kamil joined from Zawisa Bydgoszcz in July 2009 after a successful trial. On his release from Rangers he returned home and has since turned out for six clubs in Poland. He now has around 100 appearances in the Polish second tier where he plays for current club Chojniczanka Chocjnice.

Kamil Wiktorski back playing in Poland

Rhys McCabe – Made nine first team appearances but opted to move to Sheffield Wednesday when Rangers were demoted to the second division. Only made around thirty appearances in three seasons and returned to Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic. After that it was on to the League of Ireland where he turned out for St. Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers. He signed for Brechin City in January this year. He gained three Scotland Under 21 caps.

Kyle McAusland – Joined the club as a striker at a young age from Ayr United, a club he returned to on loan on no fewer that three occasions. As he moved up through the age groups he reverted to defence. When Rangers were competing in League Two Kyle was turning out in the division above for Ayr United. He made a handful of first team appearances for Rangers the following season before returning to Ayr United on loan. He also had a loan spell at Brechin City and on leaving Rangers he signed for Dunfermline Athletic, he also played for Alloa Athletic and has spent the last three season in the Juniors with Cummnock.

Kal Naismith – My memories of Kal was of a very talented skilful player but one that had his own ideas about the game and a great frustration to coaches. Close to twenty first team appearances and loan spells at Cowdenbeath and Thistle while at Rangers. On his release from Rangers he signed for Accrington Stanley and during his time in England he has progressed via Portsmouth to current club Wigan Athletic.

Wigan Athletic’s Kal Naismith

Ewan McNeill – Ewan came up through the age groups when he was recruited from St. Mirren Boys Club. During his five and a half year spell at Rangers he spent three months on loan at Airdrie where he made nine appearances. On his release from Rangers he was scouted and signed by Norwich City and spent two season at Carrow Road. He then returned to Scotland and turned out for Brechin City, Berwick Rangers, Clyde, Stirling Albion and was last seen at Pollok 2018/19 season.

Christiano Kisuka – Christiano had been on the books of Aberdeen and Queens Park before he joined Rangers. On leaving the club he had a spell at Beith Juniors before turning out for Syrianska IF in Sweden. It appears he was last seen in Junior football with East Kilbride Thistle.

Max Wright – Max was a prolific goalscorer coming up through the age groups. but the breakthrough never came. He has been a regular in the lower league since playing for Alloa Athletic, Stranraer, East Stirling, Annan Athletic, Clyde and Stirling Albion. Still see him regularly, at the horseracing as he represents Weldspec Glasgow in the parade ring an on occasions in the winners spot.

Michael Noble – Left back Michael joined Rangers from Hutchison Vale Boys Club, joined Dundee United on his release from Rangers. He has played for a variety of East of Scotland clubs since, Craigroyston, Haddington, Musselburgh Athletic and Newtongrange Star.

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Matthew Urwin – Goalkeeper – Currently at Chorley in the National League North Matthew never made a football league appearance despite being on the books of Bradford City and Fleetwood Town after leaving Blackburn. Although he did make a League Cup appearance against MK Dons for Bradford. Also turned out for Stalybridge Celtic and Fylde in the National League North.

Peter Wylie – Defender – Was named in Blackburn’s 25 man squad for that season’s Premiership but never played in the first team. He left the club in 2013 and after a trial at Norwich City he moved to non league with Skelmersdale, his time at the club was interrupted by a period at Stalybridge Celtic. He then played for Marine and is now at Runcorn Linnets who play in The Northern Premier League Division One North West.

Anthony O’Connor – Defender – A player that should be familiar to Scottish football fans due to his two year spell at Aberdeen who he joined from Burton Albion and also played for Plymouth Argyle. Currently plying his trade in League Two with Bradford City, he never played a first team game at Blackburn. He has eight Republic of Ireland Under 21 caps.

Anthony O’Connor at Aberdeen

Ryan Edwards Defender – Never made a first breakthrough at Blackburn but after five loan spells at different clubs he signed for Morcambe in 2014. He made over 100 appearances there before moving to Plymouth Argyle. In two years at Home Park he made over sixty appearances before moving to his current club Blackpool in 2017.

Alex Billington – Left Back – Moved to Preston North End while still a youth player, then took up a scholarship in America. Had a spell with FA Euro New York before giving up the game due to injury.

Robbie Cotton – Midfield – Joined Blackburn from Sheffield United and on leaving the club he turned out for Sheffield FC, last seen at Goole Town. Robbie was one of Blackburn’s scorers on the day.

Robbie Cotton signing for Blackburn

Hugo Fernandez Molina – Defender – Spanish defender Hugo was recruited from third tier club UE Cornella. Never made the first team and returned to Spain and turned out for minor clubs AE Cultural Manllue, UE Sant Andreu and FC Martinenc before retiring in 2017.

Andy Parry – Midfield – Another that didn’t make the breakthrough but has had a career in non league football including a spell at Luton Town when they were in the National League. Returned to Southport in 2018 for his third spell at the club.

John O’Sullivan – Right Winger – Joined from Dublin boys club Belvedere he made his Blackburn debut as a substitute against Birmingham City in the final game of the 2012/13 season. Six appearances and six loan spells followed before being released and signing for Carlisle United. He moved on to Blackpool and while there had a spell on loan at Dundee in January 2019. Joined his current club Morecambe when his contract at Blackpool expired. He has four Ireland Under 21 caps.

John O’Sullivan at Dundee

Osayamen Osawe – Striker – The striker was on Man City’s books before joining Blackburn. He only appeared for the first team in a pre-season friendly and moved to Southport on his release. After a successful trial he moved to Germany and Hallescher FC in 2014. He has since played for 1.FC Kaiserslautern, FC Ingolstadt and joined his current club KFC Uerdingen in January 2019.

Micah Evans – Winger – Another whose first team involvement was restricted to friendlies. Loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield and Macclesfield Town followed and on his Blackburn release he signed for Burnley. Again he never made the breakthrough and when he signed for FC United of Manchester in 2017 it was his ninth non league club, but he left without making an appearance.

Will James – Defender – The Welsh youth international defender was still an academy player when he moved to Carlisle United. Didn’t make an impact at the Cumbrian club and joined Clitheroe FC on his release, seems to have disappeared from the game soon after.

Cameron Lindsay – Midfielder – New Zealander Cameron joined Blackburn from Tasman United. Never made the step up at Blackburn and turned out for Rangers as a trialist in January 2012 in a game against Scottish Schools Under 18’s. Returned to his native New Zealand where his has appeared for six different clubs and is currently with Wairarapa United. He gained one full cap for New Zealand in a 2-0 win over the Solomon Islands in a World Cup Qualifier in March 2013.

Former Rangers Trialist Cameron Lindsay

Jaden Hall – Left Winger – Blackburn’s second goalscorer on the day joined Stoke City on his release, before moving to Burnley. During his spell at Turf Moor he made a few appearances in the National League in a loan spell at Chester. On his release he joined Welsh club Flint Town United in August 2015, but now appears to be out of the game.

Chris DiloGoalkeeper – Joined Blackburn on his release by PSG, spent a season at St.Mirren on his release from Blackburn. Since then he has mainly played for French B teams such as Rennes, Dijon, Sochaux and Paris FC leaving the latter club in July.

Chris Dilo