It’s remarkable to learn Myles Beerman only turned 18 as recently as last month. His performance against Kilmarnock on Wednesday night was supremely accomplished given his age and the fact Ibrox manager Pedro Caixinha handed the opposition every opportunity to devise a plan to unsettle the teenage debutant.
Caixinha explained his decision to publicly name his team more than 24 hours before kick-off was because he knew he could “count” on his players, including new boys David Bates, right, and Beerman.
They made up half of Rangers’ re-jigged defence in the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock. No one pretended it was a good point in their pursuit of second place but a clean sheet in the circumstances had to be applauded, with Beerman in particular catching the eye at left-back.
So who, to repeat words he himself used afterwards, is “this little kid from Malta”? Other than his age and the fact he was recruited from Manchester City, little was known about Beerman, who came into the side to replace injured skipper Lee Wallace.
He might well have done enough to keep his place for this Sunday’s crucial clash with Aberdeen, when Rangers know anything other than victory will sink their hopes of finishing runners-up.
Beerman, judging from the evidence of Wednesday, looks more than capable of dealing with the hothouse atmosphere at Pittodrie. Even though interim Kilmarnock manager Lee McCulloch admitted he had altered his tactics slightly when he heard Bates and Beerman were starting, they were not put off their stride, the latter dealing well with the different problems posed by the muscular Conor Sammon on the right and nippy Jordan Jones when the Kilmarnock winger changed flanks.
“I knew I would be targeted because I’m a young lad, a new name,” he said. “But I didn’t let that affect me whatsoever. I stayed focused, analysed Jones and Sammon before the game and made sure I was as ready as any player to make sure I wouldn’t be out of place and put in a top performance.”
Beerman shrugged when asked if he was surprised Caixinha flagged up his debut on the eve of the fixture – he later revealed he had only learned the news himself when it was reported on Twitter.
“It was one of them where us as Rangers players should know and feel the same whether he announces the team the day before the match or an hour before,” he said. “We should stay focused and keep our head in the game and make sure we perform.”
Beerman’s sensible answers belied his tender years. He is clearly not cowed by what it means to play for Rangers though he understands the significance of having made the first senior appearance of his career for the Ibrox club.
He fleshed out the details of how he came to be in Govan.
“I was back home on international duty [for Malta] in September and I got a phone call from my agent on transfer deadline day to say Rangers were interested,” he recalled.
“Obviously, I was with Manchester City but this was a brilliant opportunity for me. People might have thought it was a downgrade for me to move from Manchester City to Rangers but Rangers are a massive club with a massive history and it was a step closer to first-team football for me, so I took the opportunity.”
He is proud to represent “the little island in the Mediterranean” and is hopeful of being included the international team’s squad for the World Cup qualifying re-match with Scotland at Hampden in September having already featured for the Under-21s.
“Not many people know about the island, but we’ve got huge talent and it’s unbelievable how small a country it is,” he said. “We’re very limited in what we can do but I believe in our country’s talent.”
He reeled off a list of those compatriots currently excelling in different sports, including snooker player Tony Drago. Beerman also mentioned footballers Andre Schembri and Michael Mifsud.
“Michael played for Coventry and Andre’s playing in Portugal just now [for Boavista] in the top league,” he said. “We have a few good shooters as well. I haven’t played snooker, I’m not a fan, but there’s massive sports talent in the country. We’re really small but all we need is the exposure and the mentality from the kids to keep on developing and progressing forward.”