Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

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:-

http://live.fclm.ru/news/27234

 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.

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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

Charlie’s Boots

December 24, 2009

charlies_boots

millerI am sure you all recognise former Ranger Charlie Miller, the other picture shows Charlie’s most famous pair of boots. Unfortunately for Charlie he wasn’t wearing them at the time. The boots were given to David Beckham by mistake, and he wore them when he scored from his own half against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park in August 1996. The boots Beckham wore that day had “Charlie” embroidered on the tongue, having been made for Charlie Miller.

It’s an example of the status Charlie had at the time and he looked to be heading for a long Rangers and Scotland career. Indeed in the October 1995 edition of Four Four Two, Charlie was one of four featured players in their “The Boy’s A Bit Special”  feature. The heading for each player began with the letter ‘C’, Charlie’s was “Cocky”.

“Superb first Touch. Wonderful close control. An Unnerving ability to flat-foot defenders. Remarkable turn of speed. Great engine. Passes like a dream. Bags of confidence. Cocky. And Adored.”

That was the opening paragraph for the youngster from Rangers Supporters Association Boys Club who had broken into the Rangers side that included Gazza and Laudrup.  Just over two seasons later Charlie was at Leicester City on loan and a short time later moved to Watford for £450,000.

Not a lot of games in two years and then he was back in Scotland with a settled period at Dundee United. After which Charlie decided to try his luck abroad and had a decent few seasons in Norway, a brief stint in Belgium and is now seeing out the end of his career in Australia with Brisbane Roar.

Five league championships, two Scottish Cups, two League Cups, a Norwegian Cup. At one end of his career SPFA Young Player of the Year and then last season the A-League’s Foreign Player of the Year. He gained one solitary cap for Scotland in a friendly international against Poland in April 2001, he was a Dundee United player by that time.

Even though Charlie has had a career that most people could only dream about, I am sure in his quiet moments he must think what might have been.

I couldn’t finish without touching on the others in that “The Boy’s A Bit Special” feature.

“Cute” James Quinn (Blackpool)

Born in Coventry but gained 50 caps for Northern Ireland, James was often in the same Northern Ireland squads as Jimmy Quinn, so people often got them mixed up.

A man of many clubs he was most noted for his spells at Blackpool and West Brom, who paid £500,000 for him in 1998. He also spent a couple of season in Dutch football with Willem II. His last club was Northampton Town and he retired in 2007.

“Curly” Peter Smith (Brighton)

They were stretching the ‘boy’ bit here, as Peter was 26 when he moved from Kent League club Alma Swanley to Brighton. He spent six seasons at Brighton before moving into non league with Woking and Canvey Island.

He was arguably more famous after his playing career when he had a cameo role for three years in Sky One’s football soap Dream Team. Peter is now  working for the PFA’s commercial department.

“Combative” Peter Lipcsei (FC Porto)

Hungarian internationalist midfielder Peter Lipcsei made his name initially at Ferencvaros before Bobby Robson made the move to take him to Portugal.  Another player who failed to live up to his early promise, after a good start at Porto, he spent the next season at Sporting Espinho that saw them relegated.

A further spell at Ferencvaros was followed by a brief stint in Austria at Austria Salzburg before returning to Ferencvaros for a third time where at the age of 37 he is still a registered player. unfulfilled potential perhaps, but he did gain 58 caps for Hungary, in what was admittedly not a golden age for Hungarian football.

Development Teams Take On Aussies

December 18, 2009

With the under 19’s league game against Falkirk at Stirling University postponed it gave me the opportunity to take in the games at Murray Park this afternoon. Rangers under 15’s and Under 17’s took on a touring side from Australia, TY Sports Academy. I’m not sure of the set up but the touring sides were made of a mix of Australians and Koreans. As I tried to keep an eye on both games the reports are a wee bit sketchy.

Under 17’s

Rangers 5 TY Sports Academy2

Rangers began the match with three trialists in the starting line up, a Polish goalkeeper and two strikers who I believe were a Scottish lad and a Finn. The first real threat came from the visitors when the trialist keeper has his attempted clearance charged down, although as the ball spun goalwards he had plenty time to get back and gather the ball. At the other end Anthony Marenghi brought out a fine save from a free kick just outside the box.

Midway through the half the tourists took the lead, the trialist keeper again had problems with his kicking, this time only clearing to the striker at the edge of the box who shot into the empty net. Within five minutes Rangers were level when the other trialists combined to great effect. Good play on the right by Trialist No. 9 (Scotland) saw him Cross for Trialist No. 10 (Finland) to head home.

After another five-minute gap Rangers took the lead, Lewis McLeod sending Trialist No. 10 clear and he calmly prodded the ball past the advancing keeper.  Rangers had the better of the play in the first half and missed a few chances, but only a great interception by Michael Noble kept them ahead as half time approached.

Half- Time:- Rangers 2 TY Sports Academy 1

Early in the second half Rangers increased their lead with a great solo goal from Anthony Marenghi, picking the ball up on the left he cut inside past two defenders and beat the keeper with a right foot shot from just outside the box. Just when it looked like Rangers would take command the visitors reduced the deficit with a powerful header from a corner from the right.

Rangers were then back on the attack and were denied by the keeper on a couple of occasions. They came closer still when Marenghi’s ball in from the left was flicked goalwards at the near post by Robbie Crawford only to see it come back off the post. When they did increase their lead it came from the penalty spot. Mark Taylor’s ball into the box was controlled by Trialist No. 10, who was impeded as he tried to turn and stepped up to blast the ball high into the net despite the best efforts of the visiting keeper and complete his hat-trick.

The scoring was complete when Nicky Main played him through again, this time his cutback allowed Lee Cochrane to score from close range via the keeper’s left hand post.

Full Time:- Rangers 5 TY Sports Academy 2

Rangers:- Trialist N0. 1 (Blair Currie); Ewan McNeil (Lee Cochrane), Kyle McAusland, Michael Noble, Steven Hetherington; Nicky Main, Lewis McLeod (Robbie Crawford), George Scott (Frankie Owens), Anthony Marenghi; Trialist No.9 (Mark Taylor), Trialist No. 10.

Under 15’s

Rangers 3 TY Sports Academy 0

This was played over three thirty minute periods, the visitors were successful in their previous games against Nottingham Forrest and Bolton Wanderers. The Rangers squad included a significant number of under 14’s.

The first period was goalless although Callum McConnell looked likely to score when played through by Blair Munn, but he knocked the ball over the advancing keeper and just wide. Ciaran Summers also came close, gathering a Dylan Dykes cross and shooting across goal and just past the far post. Just before the end of the period the visitors had a great chance and just when it looked a certain goal the ball was deflected over for a corner.

The second period was where the game was won, with all Rangers goals coming in the period. The first coming via the penalty spot, Callum McConnell was played through and the defender seemed to clear the ball for a corner but the referee deemed he had fouled the Rangers player and pointed to the spot, Blair Munn stepped up to confidently score from the spot.

The second came after good play on the left created a scoring opportunity and the keeper made a fine save, but was helpless as the rebound went straight to Blair Spittal who fired home. And it was Blair Spittal who grabbed the final goal, dispossessing the defender at the edge of the box and shooting past the keeper.

There was no further scoring in the final period, the highlights being a fine save low to his right by Liam Kelly when the striker was through, and an equally fine save at the other end after the ball broke to Stuart Urquhart inside the box following a corner, the tourists keeper turning his effort over the bar.

Rangers 3 TY Sports Academy 0

Rangers:- Liam Kelly; Dylan Dykes, Greg Pescizio, Stuart Urquhart, Jordan Wilson (Tom Walsh); Blair Munn (Blair Spittal), Jack Donaldson (Andy Murdoch), Darren McGill (Scott Roberts), Ciaran Summers; Callum McConnell, Danny Hutchinson (Kjeld McIntyre)

Aussies Visit Murray Park

November 20, 2009

Rangers 5 Melbourne Stars 0

Rangers Under 17’s took on Australian visitors Melbourne Stars at Murray Park this afternoon. It was a return visit for the Aussies, having beaten a Rangers side 3-0 on a visit last year.

Melbourne Football Stars are an organisation that provides Melbourne’s elite Youth players with an opportunity to travel to Scotland & England to gain an insight into the world of professional Football. Today’s game saw them take on a much more recognisable Rangers Under 17 side than last year.

After a quiet opening period where Rangers dominated possession, the home side took the lead. Dylan McGeough set up Lee Cochrane with a chance at the edge of the box, his first effort was blocked but when the ball came back to him he sent it into the top right hand corner of the net giving the keeper no chance.

Rangers doubled their lead on the half hour, Anthony Marenghi sent Christiano Kisuka clear on the right hand side of the box and his ball across the six yard box gave Lee Cochrane a simple tap in for his second goal. Five minutes later and Melbourne had what proved to be their only real chance of the game. A ball in from the right broke to the No. 9 on the six yard box but his shot past the post.

On the stroke of half time Rangers when three up with a fantastic solo effort. Christiano Kisuka picked the ball up 40 yards out, his run to the edge of the box took him past three defenders where he shot low past the keeper.

Half Time :- Rangers 3 Melbourne Stars 0

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Rangers scored again. Another Marenghi pass sent Kisuka clear, this time on the left, and again his ball across goal set up a simple tap in , this time for substitute Callum McConnell.

There was no further scoring until the final minute, when Lee Cochrane, who had come back on to replace the injured Callum McConnell, latched on to a Frankie Owens pass to shoot across the keeper and into the net to complete his hat-trick.

The Australian youngsters now go on to play Hibs, Dundee United, Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. I hope they enjoyed their game at Murray Park today and wish them luck in the rest of their games.

Full Time:- Rangers 5 Melbourne Stars 0

Rangers:- Blair Currie; Frankie Owens, Kyle McCausland, Michael Noble, Michael Mosson; Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough (Darren McGill 46 mins), Steven Hetherington, Anthony Marenghi; Christiano Kisuka, Lee Cochrane (Callum McConnell 46mins).

Pittodrie Cup Win For Youths

November 8, 2009

Aberdeen 1 Rangers 2

A late penalty ensured a nervy end for the Ibrox youngsters at Pittodrie this afternoon. Well in control for most of the game the converted spot kick lifted the home side but they failed to create another chance.There were two changes to the side that defeated Hibs last week,  Kyle Hutton was back from injury and Dylan McGeough dropped to the bench. With Gregg Wylde unavailable, sixteen year old Ewan McNeil came in for his debut at this level.

Rangers took the lead on nine minutes with the first effort on target in the game. A Rhys McCabe corner from the right was headed past keeper Scott Bain by the unmarked Kyle Hutton. Almost straight from the kick off the goalscorer lost possession 30 yards from goal to Nicky Low who then went past Chris Scott and shot narrowly over from the edge of the box.

That was a rare forray into the Rangers box and it was no surprise when Rangers increased their lead on 17 minutes. Kamil Wiktorski strode forward from midfield and played a one two with McCabe, who set the Polish youngster up perfectly to volley past Bain from just inside the box. Rangers were pretty much in control and the home side’s only other effort in the first half came when Stirling Smith shot over from long-range,  Grant Adam having the shot covered.

Half Time:-Aberdeen 0 Rangers 2

Aberdeen came out for the second half looking to make an impact and Callum McRobbie sent Low down the left and only a great challenge from Darren Cole cleared the danger from his low cross. On 57 minutes it was down the same flank that the home side threatened. Dean Jarvis, Low and McRobbie combined and Mitchell Megginson got a touch on the later’s cross, the ball  looped up towards the far post where Adam saved without too much difficulty.

On the hour mark Dylan McGeough was fouled wide on the right and from Ewan McNeil’s free kick McCabe headed powerfully goalwards but Bain reacted to save. Five minutes later Gilli Sorensen brought out a diving save from Adam when his cut inside Darren Cole.

With 10 minutes remaining a mixup between Chris Scott and Adam almost gave Megginson a chance, but the keeper and defender managed to scramble the ball clear. A couple of minutes later and McCabe went close again with a header, this time from a McGeough corner, his effort going just wide of the post with Bain beaten.

With three minutes of the ninety remaining Aberdeen where thrown an unlikely lifeline. Adam parried a Nicky Low shot from the edge of the box, the ball going to Jack Grimmer. With Aberdeen substitute running away from goal along the byline Adams challenge was unneccessary, but the Rangers keeper sent him tumbling for a clear penalty. Up stepped Mitchel Megginson and he was a little fortunate to see his weak shot squirm under keeper Adam.

This set up a nervy last few minutes, but with the home side failing to creat another chance the Ibrox youngsters progressed to the next round.

Full Time:- Aberdeen 1 Rangers 2

Aberdeen:- Scott Bain; Stirling Smith,Joe Shaughnessy, Scott Ross, Dean Jarvis; Gilli Sorensen (Jack Grimmer 84mins), Ryan Jack, Hallur Hannson (Clark Robertson 68 mins), Nicky Low; Callum McRobbie, Mitchel Megginson.

Not Used:- Prezmyslaw Lukasik, Anthony Bolger, Jordon Brown

Rangers:- Grant Adam; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Scott Durie, Darren Cole; Kyle Hutton (Dylan McGeough 56mins), Rhys McCabe, Kamil Wiktorski, Jamie Ness; Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Kyle McAusland, Gordon Dick, Max Wright

Youth Team Review Of The Season

June 15, 2009

Regular youth team watchers welcomed the start of the season in anticipation, looking forward to the current squad’s attempt to match the previous two season’s double winning sides.

With only six 1990’s (that is players in their final season at under19’s) in the squad, it was a young group of players set to take up the challenge. With Craig McShea recovering from a broken leg this number was reduced to five and  they were dealt a further blow when another, new signing Tom Miller sustained a serious knee injury in pre-season and was ruled out for almost the entire season.

August

It was a great start to the season for the lads, winning all three league games. With work and first team fixtures getting in the way I only managed along  to the first game, away to Falkirk. A late goal from substitute Rhys McCabe secured a 1-0 win.

This was followed up with a 2-1 home win over Hearts, with goals from Ross Perry and new signing from Tamworth Kane Hemmings. A week later an Archie Campbell hat-trick sealed an impressive 3-1 victory away to Aberdeen.

September

This month only saw two league games, both of which I managed to attend. First up came and Old Firm Clash at Barrowfield, and with several players unavailable it was a great defensive performance from a young Rangers side to pick up a point in a goalless draw, with Scott Durie outstanding in central defence.

They then had to come back from a goal down when former Ranger Lacine Cherif gave Kilmarnock the lead at Murray Park. With our on loan keeper Mark Weir in the Killie goal it took  another Archie Campbell goal and one from Isa Bagci to complete the successful fight back.

October

With European Qualifiers taking place and both Under 17’s and Under 19’s it impacted on the youth fixtures and there were only two again this month.

A trip to Hibs impressive new Training Centre saw the youths suffer their first defeat of the season. Over the ninety minutes Hibs were the better side in a game that saw Rangers reduced to nine men. Chris Scott was rather harshly given a straight red, and the home side went in to a 2-0 lead.  Gordon Dick pulled a goal back to give the youngsters hope, only for John Fleck to see red for retaliation.  Despite being down to nine men they almost snatched an unlikely point and only a stunning save by Hibs keeper Thomas Flynn from Danny Wilson’s free kick with the last kick of the game denied them.

In their next fixture away to St. Mirren they bounced back with a comfortable 3-0 win with goals from Campbell, Bagci and Gregg Wylde.

At Under 17’s Darren Cole, Max Wright, Gordon Dick and Kal Naismith were all selected for Scotland’s Qualifiers against San Marino, Slovakia and France. Scotland qualifying in second place, with Gordon Dick scoring in all three games.

At Under 19’s Grant Adam, Ross Perry, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness and Danny Wilson were selected for Scotland’s Qualifiers against Azerbaijan, San Marino and Hungary. Stephen Stirling scoring twice against San Marino and the only goal against hosts Hungary, ensuring Scotland topped the group.

In addition Arturs Vacilius and Isa Bagci were part of the successful Latvia and Turkey squads respectively.

November

A busy month, with four league games and the start of their defence of the Youth Cup. It started with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Hamilton Accies with goals from Wylde, Campbell, Stirling & McAusland.

Six different scorers  saw them ease past Brora Rangers in the cup. Next up came Inverness CT at home and disappointingly Stephen Stirling’s goal was only enough for a point.

They got back on track with narrow victories away to Kilmarnock and home to Motherwell, 1-0(Hemmings) and 2-1 (Bagci & Campbell) respectively.

This month also saw Scotland’s under 16’s Victory Shield campaign live on Sky TV. With Adam Hunter, Michael Noble, Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough & Kyle McAusland providing the Rangers contingent.

December

Only two games before the winter break saw a couple of uninspired performances. Firstly an unspectacular 3-1 cup win over Dumbarton and then more dropped points at home in the league in a 1-1 draw with St. Mirren. The only highlight being Archie Campbell’s three goals over the two games

January & February

January was mainly friendlies to keep the squad ticking over with a league game on the last day, where a last gasp Kal Naismith strike secured the points against Dundee United.

February was a contrast to the disappointment of December. A thrilling 4-3 extra time cup win at Fir Park ( I was watching 1st team draw 0-0 at Parkhead), was followed by an excellent 2-0 victory away to Hearts, having played around an hour with 10 men.

March

As we entered the final stages of the season March looked like a good opportunity to push on, with the first  two games against the bottom two sides. It started well with a 4-0 away to Hamilton. Only to turn in the season’s poorest performance the following week, losing 2-0 at Tannadice.

With leaders Hibs also dropping points around this time it set up an intriguing top of the table clash at Murray Park. After a poor first half the youngsters found themselves 0-3 after 50 minutes. A storming second half performance with goals from Naismith & Campbell saw them back in the match. When former Ranger Ally Park handled on the line in the final minute it looked like they could grab an unlikely point, only for Kal Naismith to blast his penalty high and wide.

The boys put that disappointment behind them two weeks later to book their place in the Youth Cup Final. An easy 6-2 win over Inverness CT, in a match where they could have score even more goals.

March also saw Darren Cole, Gordon Dick & Max Wright represent Scotland Under 17’s in the elite qualifying round of the European Championships. Unfortunately Scotland lost all three games to Georgia, Italy and Austria, Max Wright scoring Scotland’s only goal.

April

The month that would decide the ultimate destination of the prizes started in similar fashion to March. A good performance saw a comfortable 4-0 win over Falkirk, only to be followed with a performance almost as poor as the previous month’s Tannadice show, losing 0-2 away to Motherwell.

Celtic then put a dent in our league hopes when in a game of very few chances they held on for a goaless draw. Both sides finishing the game with ten men, the Celtic red card coming when their defender hauled back Archie Campbell when clean through and likely to score. The only other real chance came in the dying seconds when their keeper denied Campbell.

Rangers then went into the game with Aberdeen knowing a last minute goal for Hibs in the earlier kick off had clinched the title. A Max Wright strike gave Rangers a 1-0 victory in a game that lost any significance in the title race.

The month ended cruelly when Kurtis Byrne’s injury time goal denied them the chance of taking the Youth Cup Final to a penalty shoot out. His earlier goal having been cancelled out by a fine individual effort from Archie Campbell.

On a positive note the Under 17’s cruised past Queen’s Park to set up an Old Firm Glasgow Cup Final. Doubles from Chris Scott & Kyle McAusland and one from Max Wright secured a 5-0 win.

The first step on the international recognition ladder saw three Rangers players selected for Scotland at Under 15’s. George Scott, Lee Cochrane & Gregor Fotheringham taking part in two friendly games against Belgium.

May

The league season came to a disappointing end with a 2-0 defeat away to Inverness CT that saw the Under 19’s slip to third in the final placings.

A magnificent Kane Hemmings double for the Under 17’s ensured that the “youths” would end the season with something to show for their efforts. His volley for the second goal was the highlight in a 2-1 win over Celtic in the Glasgow Cup Final, in what was a much more comfortable win than the scoreline suggests.

The season was not not quite over for Danny Wilson, Ross Perry, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness & John Fleck as they were part of the Scotland Under 19 squad just pipped by England in the elite qualifying round. With both Stirling & Ness netting in the win over Slovakia and Perry doing likewise in the win over Bosnia.

Arturs Vailculis also was on international duty for the elite round for Latvia in their group with Romania, France and Norway. The Baltic side finishing bottom of their group.

My overall assessment of the season would be pretty positive for what was a young squad. On the evidence I saw Hibs were probably the best team and deserved their success. I’m slightly disappointed we slipped to third as two league wins and a friendly win of Hearts suggest we should have finished above them.

The squad can look back at where the title was lost. Perhaps it was the two defeats to champions Hibs, disappointing home draws with Inverness CT and St.Mirren, failure to beat what was a poor Celtic side in the two league meetings or the season’s two poorest performances in defeats at Motherwell and Dundee United.

Now we can look forward to next season and one of the unique features of the youth league is the natural squad turnover. Although with Rangers having a young squad this season there are only a handful now too old, and two of those missed most of the season through injury. Rangers will have much the same squad, but they could decide to limit the use of Danny Wilson and perhaps Jamie Ness at this level next season, like this season with John Fleck, who only made one league appearance for the youths.

Where as champions Hibs lose nine of their successful side and all the others clubs fall somewhere in between. So keep this bookmarked and get updated when the new season starts.

Rangers have released one of last season’s squad, goalkeeper Arturs Vailculis. I am sure all Rangers fans wish Arturs all the best in his future career.

15/16’s Friendly Win Over Clyde

May 12, 2009

Rangers 6 Clyde 3

A side made up of under 15’s and 16’s took on a slightly older Clyde team at Murray Park tonight. In a high scoring game Rangers ran out comfortable winners.

Clyde were first to threaten and Blair Currie made a fine save from close range on 7 minutes. Ten minutes later Rangers trialist striker broke down the right and out muscled the Clyde defender, his cut back was met by Nicky Main who knocked the ball just wide of the post.

On 21 minutes Clyde striker was clean through and Blair Currie came out to narrow the angle and make a fine save. Four minutes later Clyde took the lead, a free kick from out on the left touchline was crossed deep into the penalty area and was misjudged by keeper Blair Currie and end up in the back of the net.

Their lead was short lived when three minutes later Frankie Owens broke forward and fed Anthony Meringhi who’s excellent cross was knocked home by Trialist No. 10. A minute later good work on the right by Gregor Fotheringham and Lewis McLeod saw the Clyde keeper save at the feet of the Trialist striker at the expense of a corner.

On 35 minutes Rangers took the lead, following a corner from the left the ball was played back into the box and collected by Murray Wallace who passed across the 18 yard box to Lewis McLeod who made no mistake with a cool finish. Good play down the right by McLeod then set up a chance for Robbie Crawford, but he was denied by a fine diving save.

Five minutes before half-time Rangers extended their lead, the trialist striker made his way down the left and his cut back from the byline was knocked home by Lewis McLeod.

Half-Time:- Rangers 3 Clyde 1

After a quiet start to the second half Clyde pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on 59 minutes. Their striker made progress down the left and as he made his way into the box he was brought down by Scott Rumsby, the well taken penalty gave keeper Currie no chance.

Almost immediately Rangers restored their two goal lead, Robbie Crawford playing the Trialist No. 10 through the inside right channel to slot home. The same combination produced a fifth goal two minutes later, this time Crawford’s pass was through the inside left channel for the Trialist No.10 to beat the keeper.

Next chance came when Owens broke forward and his pass across the 18 yard box found McLeod who’s shot brought out a fine diving save. With 20 minutes remaining Fotheringham released McLeod on the right, his cut back was miss hit by Mark Taylor but looped over the keeper and came back off the crossbar.

On 78 minutes the Clyde keeper denied Taylor from a tight angle when he dribbled along the byline. Clyde were still battling on and pulled a goal back two minutes later, they broke through on the right and Currie could only parry leaving the striker with a simple tap in.

Back to the other end and an own goal restored Rangers three goal margin, Meringhi’s dangerous corner from the right was knocked into his own net by the Clyde defender trying to clear.

With four minutes remaining an audacious chip from Taylor came back of the crossbar, it was collected by Crawford who tried his luck with a similar effort which was tipped over by the Clyde keeper.

Rangers :- Blair Currie; Gregor Fotheringham, Scott Rumsby, Murray Wallace, Frankie Owens (Blair Smith 77mins); Lewis McLeod (Trialist 83 mins), Robbie Crawford, Nicky Main, Anthony Meringhi; Trialist, Mark Taylor.

Glasgow Cup Victory For Under 17’s

May 12, 2009

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

A man of the match performance from Kane Hemmings gave Alan Kernaghan’s under 17’s victory in tonight’s Glasgow Cup Final against their Old Firm rivals. They almost took the lead in the 3rd minute, good play on the left by Kal Naismith set up Max Wright and only the right foot of Celtic keeper Robbie Thomson prevented a goal at the expense of a corner.

On 9 minutes Rangers threatened again when a long throw from Kane Hemmings broke to Rhys McCabe and his goal bound shot was deflected wide. From the resultant Dylan McGeough corner the ball was headed back across goal by Chris Scott and Kal Naismith only just failed to force it home at the keeper’s right hand post.

Following a period of midfield stalemate Rangers took the lead on 31 minutes. Kane Hemmings was sent clear by Max Wright, keeper Thomson did well to block is effort, but it rebounded off the onrushing defender Matty Hughes and was about to cross the line for an own goal but Hemming was on hand to help it on its way and claim the opener. Eight minutes later keeper Thomson had to rush from his line to save at the feet of  Wright as he raced on to a McCabe through ball.

Five minutes from the break Celtic equalised with their first real effort at goal. A free kick out of the left touchline was crossed to the edge of the box by Jordan Lowdon where it was headed on by Hughes to James Keatings who headed past Gary Inglis.

Half Time Rangers 1 Celtic 1

Rangers took the lead in the first minute of the second half with a superb goal. A long clearance from Gary Inglis was brilliantly controlled by Kane Hemmings, he held off the attentions of defender Hughes and played the ball to Kal Naismith, Naismith got to the byline and his cross was met on the volley by Kane Hemmings which gave keeper Thomson no chance as it found the net of the underside of the bar.

Only a fine double save from Thomson a minute later prevented Rangers extending their lead. A corner from Naismith was headed back out to him and his cross was met by the head of Rhys McCabe which was blocked by the keeper, Darren Cole then set up Max Wright but Thomson made a fine diving save to his left. Ten minutes later a free kick out on the left was sent into the box by Gordon Dick broke to Chris Scott who’s goal bound shot was deflected past.

Celtic were struggling to cope with the pace and power of Hemmings and on 65 minutes he broke down the left and his ball into the box was met by Dylan McGeough and was deflected for another corner by the legs of keeper Thomson. Rangers had plenty chances to make the game save and another came along with seven minutes remaining. The two substitues combined when Kyle McAusland’s great turn on the right set him free his cut back was miss hit by Cristiano Kisuka but it almost looped over keeper Thomson who was forced to tip over.

As time was running out Celtic had a bit more possesion but failed to create any real opportunities and only a coner from the right had Gary Inglis under any pressure but the Rangers keeper punched clear and the Ibrox youngsters held out for a well deserved victory.

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Rangers:- Gary Inglis; Ewan McNeil, Chris Scott, Darren Cole, Andy Milne; Dylan McGeough, Gordon Dick, Rhys McCabe, Kal Naismith; Max Wright (Cristiano Kisuka 64mins), Kane Hemmings (Kyle McAusland 80 mins).

Not Used:- Blair Currie, Murray Wallace, Nicky Main, Anthony Meringhi, Robbie Crawford.

Celtic:- Robbie Thomson; Lewis Toshney, Matty Hughes, Grant Mosson (John Young 64mins), Jordan Lowdon; Callum McGregor, Stephen McDonnell, Callum Bagshaw ( Islam Feruz 64mins), Keiran Brennan; John Marsden (Laurie Donald 84mins), James Keatings.

Not Used:- Connor Fairley, Kieran McDonald, Michael Lynch.

Disappointing Finale For Youths

May 11, 2009

Inverness CT 2 Rangers 0

It was a disappointing result and performance for the under19’s in their final league game. I was unabe to attend due to other commitments so the report is a bit limited. The Ibrox youngsters failed to recover from the loss of two goals in the opening five minutes.

A double from Stuart Leslie gave the home side all three points, his first a right foot shot after 3 minutes and he doubled the highlanders lead with a header two minutes later.

Full Time:- Inverness CT 2 Rangers 0

Inverness CT:- Keiran Wilson; Struan Scott-Woodhouse, Shaun Porter, Michael Finnis, Graeme Shinnie; Stuart Leslie, Matthew Hemsley, Connor Rennie, Nicky Ross; Shane Sutherland, Kevin Fraser (?? Armstrong).

Not Used:- Shaun Carroll, David Chambers.

Rangers:- Arturs Vailculis; Scott Durie, Ross Perry, Chris Scott, Darren Cole (Gordon Dick); Gregg Wylde, Steven Forbes, Jamie Ness, Kal Naismith ( Rhys McCabe); Archie Campbell, Kane Hemmings (Max Wright).

Not Used:- Gary Inglis, Dylan McGeough, Andy Milne.