RANGERS have been awarded the maximum six-star status by the SFA in their 2013/14 Club Academy Scotland audit.

The annual review has reaffirmed the Light Blues as a leading force in this country when it comes to laying a platform for the development of emerging talent.

A performance-based youth programme, teams participating in Club Academy Scotland are given a rating after they are rigorously assessed on various criteria.

These include aspects such as academy plans, coaching curriculums and staff qualifications in coaching, medical and sports science.

It also takes into account scouting procedures and administration and Gers are one of only two clubs to have been given the highest possible grade.

The audit was conducted by the association’s Club Licensing Department using a rating programme compiled by its Performance Department.

An accompanying grant is issued which corresponds with a club’s rating, meaning Gers will be given the highest possible amount as they seek to go from strength to strength.

It has been a terrific season for Rangers at youth level so far this season, with Gordon Durie’s under-20s competing well as they continue bidding for a league and Youth Cup double.

And as the club strives to keep producing exciting new players, Director of Youth Development Jim Sinclair is happy with what’s being achieved.

He said: “We’re delighted to have achieved six-star status and it’s a great compliment to the standards we set.

“Across all our disciplines, whether part-time or full-time and in coaching, sports science or something else, it’s a great pat on the back to our staff for the work they do.

“A number of factors were considered when the audit took place and having a facility such as Murray Park can only be a good thing in that respect.

“Having this status certainly won’t do us any harm. It’s nice to be recognised as being there as the best in the country.

“After everything which has happened at the club in the last couple of years, it’s good that people get a reminder of that.

“We’re making good progress with our youngsters and we’re confident there are a lot of young players in our system who will benefit from the environment here at the club.”

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