Archive for the ‘Victory Shield’ Category

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Seven Gers in Scotland Under 15’s Gathering

February 23, 2009

Seven of Rangers Under 15 squad have been to selected  to attend this weeks Scotland gathering. Ross Mathie has selected over 40 players to attend, from this gathering the the preparation for next season’s Victory Shield begins.

The players selected are, goalkeeper Blair Currie, central defenders Scott Rumsby & Gregor Fotheringham, midfielders George Scott, Lewis McLeod & Chris Hackland and striker Lee Cochrane.

Full squad:-

Ryan Baptie – Hibernian
Greg Birmingham – Dundee United
Scott Brown – Hamilton Academical
Liam Callaghan – Cowdenbeath
Scott Campbell – Heart of Midlothian
Ryan Carwath – Heart of Midlothian
Joe Chalmers – Celtic
Lee Cochrane – Rangers
Christopher Connor – Motherwell
Dale Carrick – Heart of Midlothian
Blair Currie – Rangers
Bradley Donaldson – Hibernian
Ross Drummond – Dunfermline Athletic
Stephen Duffy – Aberdeen
Christopher Duggan – Hamilton Academical
Lee Erwin -Motherwell
Gregor Fotheringham – Rangers
Jay Fulton – Heart of Midlothian
Ross Gilmour – Dundee United
Jack Grimmer – Aberdeen
Christopher Hackland – Rangers
Jack Hamilton – Stenhousemuir *
Conor Kelly – Dundee United
Matthew Kennedy – Kilmarnock
Billy King – Heart of Midlothian
Steven Kingsley – Falkirk
Ryan Lundie – Dundee United
Jordan Moffat – Celtic
Craig Murray – Aberdeen
John McGinn – St Mirren
Dominic McGrandles – Falkirk
Lewis McLeod – Rangers
Peter McMenemy – Falkirk
Stephen O’Neill – Aberdeen
Thomas Reilly – St Mirren
Jordan Roberts – Falkirk
Shane Rook – Celtic
Scott Rumsby – Rangers
George Scott – Rangers
Craig Slater – St Mirren
Alistair Smith – Real Sport Clube Port
Andrew Werner – Cowdenbeath
James Wightman – Celtic

Rangers 2 Motherwell 1

November 30, 2008

Once again the youth fixture clashed with the first team’s so I was unable to attend. Rangers made one change from the side that won at Kilmarnock, Danny Wilson returning from illness and Steven Forbes dropping to the bench. Former Rangers keeper Steven Coutts was in goal for Motherwell, while Nicky Gallagher missed out on a return visit to Murray Park after his red card against Celtic last week.

Rangers took the lead on 26 minutes when John Fleck’s corner was headed home by Isa Bagci from close  range. The game was made safe with fifeteen minutes remaining, Gregg Wylde broke down the left and his cross was converted by substitute Archie Campbell. Motherwell scored their consolation goal in injury time when Calum Hendrie scored with a powerful shoot from just inside the penalty area.

Rangers:- Arturs Vaiculus; Ross Perry, Chris Scott, Danny Wilson, Gregg Wylde; Kyle Hutton, Stephen Stirling, Jamie Ness, John Fleck; Kane Hemmings (Archie Campbell), Isa Bagci (Steven Forbes).

Motherwell:- Steven Coutts; Mark Smith (Jamie Pollock), Dario Quinn, David McAuliffe, Jordan Halsman; Patrick McPake, Steven Meechan, Peter Innes, Paul Slane; Ryan Martin, Steven Lawless (Calum Hendrie).

Next up for the youths is Dumbarton in the 4th round of teh Youth Cup. The game is at Ibrox next Sunday 7th December with a 1pm Kick Off.

Victory Shield footnote:-

All five Rangers players took part in Scotland’s 0-2 defeat at the hands of England at Sincil Bank, Lincoln on Friday night. Adam Hunter, Michael Noble and Dylan McGeough all started the game. Kyle McAusland replaced Adam Hunter in the first half, when it looked like the Rangers youngster sustsained a serious injury. Nicky Main replaced his Rangers team mate Dylan McGeough in the second half.

Here’s hoping the injury to Adam Hunter is not serious and he is back playing soon.

Victory Shield Scotland 2 Northern Ireland 2

November 7, 2008

Scotland 2 Northern Ireland 2

Scotland took on Northern Ireland tonight in their second Victory Shield match at Dens Park, Dundee. Four Rangers players started for Scotland, while Nicky Main was an unused substitute.

It was a slow start to the game and the first real opening came in the 16th minute for Northern Ireland. A cross from the right by Cormac Burke found Josh Carson coming in at the back post and his header was blocked by Adam Hunter. Three minutes later and a last gasp clearance by Carl Winchester prevented Scotland from taking the lead, Jamie Walker round the keeper Glendinning but Winchester cleared just as he was about to knock it into the net.

Kyle McAusland should have given Scotland the lead on 21 minutes, good play by David Smith on the left, his low cross across the six yard box should been converted but McAusland shot wide. At the other end a Burke shot was not far over, but keeper Shaun Thomson seemed to have in covered.

Scotland thought they had taken the lead on 29 minutes, a long pass from Dylan McGeough saw Walker lob the on rushing keeper. Luke McCullough got back to clear, with Scotland claiming it had crossed the line, but the assistant referee ruled otherwise.

The last chance of the first half came in 34 minutes, McAusland went down the right and played it low across goal, Smith came sliding in but knocked the ball wide.

Half Time : Scotland 0 Northern Ireland 0

Only a great save from Ross Glendinning prevented Scotland taking the lead in 34 mins, Substitute Calum McGregor’s free kick from the left was met by the head of McAusland, but the keeper made a fine save low to his left. Fifeteen minutes later and Northern Ireland came inches from scoring, a corner from the left was headed against the bar by McCullough.

As often happens the other team goes straight up the other end and scores. A McGeough corner from the left had Glendinning struggling and could only help it on towards the back post where Jamie Walker volleyed home from close range. A free kick from the left almost brought Northern Ireland their equaliser a minute later, but it was cleared for a corner by McAusland.

Set plays were causing problems at both ends, and McGeough’s next corner from the left was bundled towards goal by Kerr, only to come back off the post and the Nothern Ireland defence cleared . A set play was to prove the source of the game’s next goal, a corner from the left was header clear by Kerr, but landed at the feet of Josh Carson and he fired a great left foot shot high past the keeper to tie the game at 1-1.

On 73 minutes Michael Noble had to look sharp to clear over his one crossbar under pressure from John Edgar after a flick on by Kyle Curran. Captain Fraser Fyvie who was Scotland’s match winner against Wales almost did it again on 74 minutes but his shot came back off the post.

Chances were now coming thick and fast, a forward pass from Noble, saw Substitute Liam Gormley turn his marker and fire in a low left foot shot which produced a fine save from Glendinning. The goal was only delayed by a minute, A long deep cross from the right by Jack Grimmer, found substitute Calum McGregor coming in at the back post to volley home.

Northern Ireland were not to be denied and grabbed a second equaliser a minute later, good work on the left by Kyle Curran and his cross was headed under keeper Thomson by substitute John Edgar. Scotland had one final chance in injury time, when a Grimmer free kick was headed over by Gormley.

Scotland: Shaun Thomson (Hearts); Adam Hunter (Rangers), John Young (Celtic), Michael Noble (Rangers); Dylan McGeough (Rangers), Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen), Graeme McGregor (Falkirk); Jamie Walker (Hearts), Kyle McAusland (Rangers), David Smith (Hearts).

Subs: Chris Ketterer (St. Mirren) for Young, Calum McGregor (Celtic) for Smith, Jack Grimmer (Aberdeen) for Hunter, Euan Lindsay (Hamilton Accies) for Walker, Liam Gormley (Motherwell) for McAusland.

Northern Ireland: Ross Glendinning (Greenisland); Carl Winchester (Linfield), Ben Oliver (Linfield), Luke McCullough ( Loughgall), Rory McKeown (Lisburn Youth); Matthew Ball (Norwich City), Jack Warburton (Watford), James Knowles (Lisburn Youth); Cormac Burke (Trojans), Michael McLellan (Linfield), Josh Carson (Greenisland).

Subs: Kyle Curran (Don Boscos) for McLellan, Paul George (Celtic) for Ball, John Edgar (Ballinamallard) for Winchester, Lee Toland (Don Boscos) for McKeown.

Victory Shield Squad for Northern Ireland Game

October 29, 2008

Five Rangers players in the Victory Shield squad for game against Northern Ireland at Dens Park on Friday 7th November 2008.

Robbie Thomson (Celtic)
Shaun Thomson (Hearts)

Adam Hunter (Rangers)
Michael Noble (Rangers)
Fraser Kerr (Motherwell)
Christopher Ketterer (St Mirren)
Kyle McAusland (Rangers)
John Young (Celtic)

Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen)
Jack Grimmer (Aberdeen)
Nicholas Main (Rangers)
Dylan McGeogh (Rangers)
Callum McGregor (Celtic)
Graeme MacGregor (Falkirk)

Euan Lindsay (Hamilton Accies)
Conor Ramsay (St Mirren)
David Smith (Hearts)
Jamie Walker (Hearts)

Scotland Open Victory Shield With A Win

October 17, 2008

Scotland 2 Wales 1

Scotland started this year’s Victory Shield with a win against Wales at Broadwood. David Smith of Hearts gave Scotland a 1-0 lead at half time. It looked like Scotland would get chance to double their lead when Rangers Dylan McGeough was brought down by the Welsh keeper, but incredibly the referee waved play on. It looked to be a significant decision when not long afterwards Wales equalised.A win was secured in the final minutes when Fraser Fyfie of Aberdeen fired home.

All five Rangers players in the squad featured in tonight’s game. Adam Hunter, Michael Noble and Dylan McGeough starting. With Nicky Main and Kyle McAusland coming on as substitutes at half time.

Scotland’s next game in the Victory Shield is on 7th November against Northern Ireland at Dens Park.

Victory Shield Squad

October 7, 2008

The squad for Scotland’s first victory shield match against Wales of Friday 17th October has been announced. Congratulations to the five Rangers players selected, Adam Hunter, Michael Noble, Nicky Main, Dylan McGeough and Kyle McCausland.

The game is at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld with a 17:40 Kick-Off

The full squad is as follows


Robbie Thomson (Celtic)

Shaun Thomson (Hearts)


Adam Hunter (Rangers)

Michael Noble (Rangers)

Fraser Kerr (Motherwell)

Chris Ketterer (St.Mirren)

Kyle McAusland (Rangers)

John Young (Celtic)


Fraser Fyvie (Aberdeen)

Jack Grimmer (Aberdeen)

Nicky Main (Rangers)

Dylan McGeough (Rangers)

Callum McGregor (Celtic)

Graeme McGregor (Falkirk)


Euan Lindsay (Hamilton Accies)

Connor Ramsey (St.Mirren)

David Smith (Hearts)

Jamie Walker (Hearts)