Greg Docherty won’t just be increasing his profile and salary following his £670,000 move from Hamilton Accies to Rangers. The midfielder will also feel the benefit of a significant drop in his fuel bills.
“I’m from Milngavie and live just two minutes from the Rangers training centre,” said the Scotland under-21 international. “I’ve been driving past it on the way to Hamilton for years.
“So to flick the indicator on and drive in here as a Rangers player today was a nice feeling. I’ve been waiting to do that for a long time. I’ll hardly ever need to leave Milngavie now, except for away games!”
While boyhood Rangers supporter Docherty is fulfilling a dream by joining the Ibrox club, he is also relishing a move he believes is perfectly suited to his ambitions of maximising his potential as a player.
“I am here now and I want to hit the ground running,” said the 21-year-old who could make his debut in tomorrow’s Premiership fixture at Ross County.
“You don’t have time to get yourself bedded in at Rangers. You need to be ready to go straight away. I am prepared to do that, I am looking forward to getting started properly.
“It is a massive move for me, of course, because my family are all Rangers fans. So it means a great deal for me to be here and to them as well.
“But I think the reason I am here is because it is the perfect platform for me to go and develop, regardless of the fact I support the club. The decision was purely made for footballing reasons. I think it is the right place for me to kick on. I am really looking forward to getting started. The facilities are really good, training today was of a really good standard and the boys have been great with me so far.
“When I was a kid, I looked up to Rangers midfielders like Barry Ferguson and Steven Davis. I was at the Uefa Cup final watching them in 2008. I was just a young boy at the time, but even then I knew that was where I wanted to be. I wanted to be on that stage. I wanted to be leading Rangers out to stages like that. Now I am here, I am in the door, it is down to me to work hard and see where it takes me.
“There is a plan here at Rangers, I can see that from what the manager Graeme Murty says and from speaking to [director of football] Mark Allen. I was desperate to be part of that plan, I was sold on coming to Rangers as soon as I knew they wanted me. Yes, I’m a fan, but from a football point of view Rangers are on the up and I want to be part of that.
“Obviously, silverware is important. At Rangers Football Club you need to win silverware, that is what you will be judged on. At the moment the manager has been saying you take each game as it comes. The team are doing well just now, a really good result against Aberdeen the other night, so it’s going to be difficult to get in the team but that’s exciting. It’s a project here and I am really glad to be a part of it.”
Docherty, who scored one of the most valuable goals in Hamilton’s history with the winner in their Premiership play-off final victory over Dundee United last May, is pleased the club who developed him will also benefit from the substantial fee Rangers are paying for him.
“I will never forget my roots, where I came from,” he added. “Accies is a good school for a footballer – a tough school but a good school, they bring you up right. They allow you to play football, they give you a chance, they allow you to develop. I would never be sitting here if it wasn’t for them. I will be eternally grateful to them and the staff there. It’s a very tight-knit club, it’s like a family, everyone knows everyone and for young players it’s a great platform for them to go and play. I think that’s why I’ve been successful so far.
“Hamilton’s motto is to produce young players and for me that’s another reason why it was time to go for me. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me. I’m sad I won’t be there anymore in lots of ways but it is the right time for me to move on and I’m obviously thrilled to be a part of Rangers now.”