Rangers development coach Graeme Murty has praised Pedro Caixinha after the Portuguese manager followed through with his vow to give youth a chance at Ibrox.
Caixinha introduced Myles Beerman, David Bates and Aidan Wilson to his first team last term and he looks set to continue that trend this year, with teenagers Ross McCrorie and Jordan Thompson both recently featuring in Rangers’ pre-season clashes.
Rangers head to Hillsborough to take on Sheffield Wednesday in their final pre-season outing tomorrow and Murty believes the sight of a clear pathway to top-team action will encourage others in his youth side to dream they can make the step up. The Under-20s coach told Rangers TV: “It has been great for Ross and Jordan and they tell all the others straight away about it.
“They’re still in the same changing room and they still get to come round and train on these pitches. They were great for the players making sure they understand what it takes to be a first-team player. They’re not there yet but they are well on the road and the guys behind them definitely have something to chase – and they can all see that pathway.
“That’s really, really important for young players as if you try hard every day and can’t see a pathway to the first team, then it can become frustrating, mundane and repetitive.
“But if you have got the excitement of going through to the next level, and you can see that and almost touch it, it keeps you energised and keeps you motivated, which is what we need.
“The manager came in to the players and told them, ‘I don’t care what your name is, if you’re doing it for the 20s, then I will look at you, you’ll come round, train with my lot and if you’re doing it then I have no hesitation in throwing you in’.
“He showed that at the end of last season and, for the young players, that has got to be a real boost to their confidence.”