HE’S been at the club for only a matter of days, but already, new Development Squad coach Stuart Taylor has been massively impressed with what he has seen.
Taylor will work alongside Billy Kirkwood and Peter Lovenkrands until the end of the season with the club’s under-20s, and he is massively grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s something which excites me,” he told RangersTV. “I’m coming to this fantastic facility, and everything is here, and to working with the young players and hopefully to get them transitioning into the first team.
“It is a crucial role for me as the coach, but also to maximise the players’ potential to get them to make that step up into the first team.
“Their attitude has been so impressive, and being on the pitch, the quality they have got as individuals has been good as well.
“There has been plenty of good feedback and the players have been very receptive to what we have been giving them.
“I have been pleased and been impressed with them. There are targets I set myself from the coaching side of things – I have always been that way and I will always set targets.
“It is important they are realistic and not targets which can’t be achieved. You always try and push yourself as a coach and certainly part of that is to make me better but also to make the environment around me better and maximise the potential of the players we are working with and get as much out of them as we possibly can to then go and push them into the first team.”
It has been an exciting season already for the club’s Development Squad, with their Games Programme handing them some terrific tests against top sides all over Europe.
That will continue in the second half of the season, with Bayern Muncih away being their next challenge next Saturday.
Taylor continued: “There has been a good grounding already this season and the foundations have been set in. It’s now a case of going and continuing that until the end of the season, and maybe tweak one or two things if needed.
“The games that are coming up, we are really looking forward to them. There are a lot of good challenges there, a lot of tough teams, and it is an excellent programme which has been set in place.”
One thing Taylor will use with his players is the example of the likes of Ross McCrorie and Jamie Barjonas who have both made the step up to the Rangers first team this season.
“It is very easy for a coach or manager to see that incentive,” explained Taylor, “but it is also easy for the players to see that, which is the best thing for a coach as the proof is in the pudding.
“You don’t have to go to players and try to sell it to them if that pathway is there, and if the player is already on that pathway and is being successful with it, then it is very easy for the players after that and very easy for the coaches.
“You just have to do your work and then you have to go and start selling things. It’s great to see the pathway is there and there has been success.”
Taylor’s playing career took saw him play for no-less than eight Scottish sides, and he believes the experiences he had with them, and the variety of management styles he enjoyed, have shaped his own ideas as a coach.
He added: “For me, I was fortunate to play under some really good managers and some excellent coaches. On the downside, I had a lot of injuries but I made the most of that when I was out.
“I looked more at the tactical side of the game and, made the most of a bad situation. Again, working with good managers and good coaches, and taking their ideas and using them along the way, but always questioning things throughout my career and looking at how I could make them better, and what I could do on the coaching side.
“Kirky [Billy Kirkwood] is someone I used to come up against from the other bench coaching, and I know from coaching courses with the SFA that the experience and knowledge he has is incredible.
“A big part of me coming here was to delve into that as I am always looking to improve and get better as a coach. Since being in here working with him, it has been an eye-opener and it is a great part for me to go and be educated.”