Rangers’ Ross McCrorie backs Scot Gemmill for Scotland job

Colin Stewart, the Rangers Youth Development Company director of operations, Rangers' Ross McCrorie and Craig Mulholland,  Rangers Head of Academy with a cheque for �250.000.  Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS
Colin Stewart, the Rangers Youth Development Company director of operations, Rangers' Ross McCrorie and Craig Mulholland, Rangers Head of Academy with a cheque for �250.000. Picture: Ross Brownlee/SNS
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Rangers youngster Ross McCrorie believes Scot 
Gemmill would do an excellent job if he was elevated from his current role as Under-21 coach to become the new 
manager of Scotland.

Gemmill has become a 
candidate for the role and his suitability will be discussed at an SFA board meeting on 
Thursday.

After the very public failed pursuit of Michael O’Neill, it is understood there are members of the board who would be in favour of Gemmill becoming the replacement for 
Gordon Strachan.

It is also understood that the 47-year-old, below, who has worked for the SFA at three age groups since 2014, has made 
it known that he would be interested in the job.

He started coaching the Under-17s, was promoted to the Under-19s and became Under-21 boss in 2016.

McCrorie has played under him at all of these levels and is in no doubt that he could handle the step up to full international level.

He said: “Scot Gemmill has been huge for me, right up through the age groups. He’s the one that has had the confidence in me to pick me for each squad.

“He is someone who believes in you and that gives you greater confidence going into the game. He has given me that recognition to put me into squads, so he has been great.

“If he did get the Scotland job, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did well because he’s a brilliant coach.

“He’s got a good track record with all the youth teams, getting to the Euro finals and finishing third at the Toulon Tournament last year. It would be brilliant for him if he could get it.”

Gemmill, who was capped 26 times by his country, was a member of Scotland’s Euro 96 and World Cup 98 squads during a playing career with Nottingham Forest and his only other coaching experience was with Oxford United and New Zealand Knights a decade ago.

But under his leadership Scotland reached the Uefa U17 European Championship semi-finals in 2014, and at last summer’s Toulon Tournament Scotland’s U20s beat Brazil for the first time ever at any age level.

McCrorie, meanwhile, is frustrated to be on the outside looking in at Ibrox right now as he tries to recover from a foot injury.

New players have arrived – at the back and in midfield – since he has been sidelined and he is frustrated not to be involved, especially as 
Graeme Murty has moved the side up to second in the Premiership.

He said: “There’s nothing worse than sitting watching everyone out in training when you can’t contribute, especially as I had been playing regularly before that. I don’t want to have any further problems so I know I have to give it the time to heal properly now.

“It happened in the Ross County game last month and I played through it. They thought a period of rest in the first week off in January would help but it didn’t work so I got a scan and it showed a few things up, although I don’t want to go into too much detail.

“It’s bad enough, it’s not really ideal, but hopefully it will heal soon.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been injured until now. It has only been little niggles before and I’ve managed always to play through. I’ve never had anything like this before so it is a new experience.

“New players have come in but I’m helped by the fact I can play in a variety of positions, defence or midfield.

“I’m not too worried to be honest because competition for places is healthy for the team in the long run if we want to get to the next level.”

Murty offloaded one player last night when it was confirmed that defender Danny Wilson has joined MLS side Colorado Rapids on a three-year contract.

Rangers are heading north again to face Highland League Fraserburgh in the Scottish Cup tomorrow night, having beaten Ross County on Sunday to move ahead again of Aberdeen in the Premiership on goal difference, but still 11 points behind Celtic.

McCrorie believes interim manager Murty is making a very good case to land the role on a permanent basis.

He added: “The gaffer has come in and done a great job and everything seems to be very positive.

“Results are going our way right now. The mindset and belief of the players has changed in the last few months. We believe in our 
ability and what we can do.”

l Rangers Academy graduate McCrorie accepted a cheque for £250,000 from the Rangers Youth Development Company that raised cash through 
Rangers Lotto, Rising Stars, Scratchcards, Stadium Bricks and The Youth 
Members Club.