RANGERS Academy stars Ciaran Dickson and Nathan Patterson enjoyed a Twitter Q&A with supporters yesterday on the Rangers Youth Development Company Twitter account – if you missed it check out the highlights here.
Both players starred as the young Light Blues beat Celtic in last week’s SFA Youth Cup Final – midfielder Dickson opened the scoring while Nathan was a stand-out in defence for David McCallum’s side at Hampden.
Q – Kimmie – Who do you think are the best players are at the club?
CD – I really look up to Ross McCrorie. He has graduated from the academy and played lots of first team games and that’s what I want to do as well.
NP – I look up to James Tavernier. He is a great role model.
Q – Kimmie – What did it feel like winning at Hampden against Celtic?
A – NP – It was a great experience.
CD – It was great to play in front of a crowd at Hampden and we knew it was live on TV as well so a great night for us.
Q – Revan – When do you both hope to make the 1st team?
CD – As soon as I can really and hopefully when the opportunity comes I can take it.
NP – Hopefully as soon as I can. You have to make sure when the time comes you are ready and can stand out.
Q – Gavin Kelly – How does Nathan feel having the club Captain and one of the best players at the club in his position in the first team?
A – It is a good challenge. It’s going to be tough replacing him in the team. He has spoken to me a couple of times though and helped my game.
Q – WATP1872 – How does it feel belonging to the most successful football club in the world?
CD – There is a lot of pressure on our shoulders, like last Thursday at Hampden but we need to come out on top.
NP – It’s a good challenge and the expectation is always there to perform like last Thursday.
Q – Alex – Ciaran – Are you hoping to get a run out in the 1st team before the end of the season?
A – I am coming in every day and trying to do my best to become a better player. Hopefully I can be in the first team as soon as I can.
Q – Craig Warnock – What are your goals for next season?
NP – I want to kick on again, keep performing and make myself a main starter for the reserves. Hopefully I can get involved with the first team as well.
CD – To do well domestically and try and push into the reserve side and try and be a regular starter there as well.
Q – And how difficult do you reckon it is to step up from youth level to reserves and then onto 1st team football?
CD – I think we will get a taste of it. Jumping from 18s, to Reserves to the first team bench. Then we will see.
NP – It’s a massive difference to be honest. They play at a higher intensity and level.
Q – Colin – What is the strongest part of your game?
CD – My range of passing and the pace I can take the ball at. I always try and be an option for my team mates.
NP – Strongest part of game – I can read the game well and take the ball under pressure. I can trust my technique.
What do you enjoy most about training?
CD – The facilities we get to use and all the info we can get from all the ex-pros at the academy.
NP – I enjoy coming in and seeing the staff every day and the facilities here are second to none.
Who will win the Champions League?
CD – Barcelona.
NP – Ajax. They have a great young team and are really good to watch.
Q – Best player in the EPL this season?
NP – Best player in EPL – I will go for Raheem Sterling.
CD – Best player in EPL – Virgil Van Dijk or Raheem Stirling.
Q – CraiGers – What are your ambitions? Thinking staying at Rangers long term?
CD – Ambition – I will just work hard and see what levels I can get to in the game.
NP – Yes, just keep working hard, don’t take anything for granted and take my opportunities.
Q – SFB – How do you like working with Kevin Thomson on a daily basis?
CD – As a midfielder myself, it is great to get advice from him and use it to improve my game.
NP – Yes he is good. He has been through all this. He knows people have off days and can help you through them. His experience is at a different level.
Q – RFCYouthUpdates – If we manage to win the under 18 league which teams would you like to play against in the UEFA Youth League?
CD – Barcelona – just to see up close how they play and keep the ball. It would be a challenge to test how good we are.
NP – Ajax – we played them before and they beat us 2-0. They are tough opposition so it would be good to go up against them again.
Since 2002, RYDC profits have been directed to Rangers Football Club’s youth programme – with almost £8 million provided so far.
And in January, Academy Head Craig Mulholland and youth graduate Glenn Middleton accepted an RYDC donation of £400,000.
For full details on RYDC’s growing portfolio of products – the re-launched Rangers Pools, Rangers Lotto, Rising Stars, Scratchcards, Stadium Bricks and the Youth Members Club – visit www.rydc.co.uk or call 0141 427 4914.