THE RANGERS Academy will see a host of new faces join the coaching team this summer as part of changes for the start of the 2017/18 season.
Graeme Murty will take on the additional role of Head of Academy Coaching alongside his current job as Head Development Squad Coach. This new role will see him manage the academy coaching phases from a technical perspective and take a major role in the development of the academy coaches and curriculum across all ages.
The club will be introducing a concept called ‘Rangers Performance Coaching Culture’ which will look at coach education and development, coach behaviours, coach action plans, coach mentoring and will use a range of new ideas to accelerate the development of the academy’s coaches. Graeme will implement this new initiative.
Graeme has an Elite Coaches degree from the EPL having been identified as one of the top young coaches in England and he is currently completing his UEFA Pro Licence with the SFA. He will bring his extensive knowledge of the academies at Norwich and Southampton to this new role.
Elsewhere there are some familiar faces as four former Rangers players join the academy’s coaching team. Stephen Wright will become the club’s Head of Intermediate Academy and School Coach, leaving his role as Academy Director at Fife Elite.
Stephen will be the lead coach with the U15 group, manage the coaches and curriculum in the 13’s to 15’s phase. He will also coach on a daily basis in Boclair Academy where there are currently 32 young Rangers players receiving 16 hours of contact time with the Academy per week. Stephen is a highly qualified coach with several SFA and UEFA qualifications.
Peter Lovenkrands will return to the club in a part-time capacity to work with a team in the intermediate phase. He has recently completed his UEFA A Licence and is keen to commence a coaching career.
Andy Little will re-join the club to work with the Children’s Academy. He will work on a part-time basis with the 8s, 9s and 10s age groups as he embarks on a coaching career. Having come through the academy it will allow him to share his experiences with the club’s youngest players.
Brian Gilmour comes back to the academy he passed through as a youngster to start in a part-time coaching role with the intermediate academy. He was part of the Scotland U19 group that reached the final of the European Championships against Spain. He has gone on to have an extensive playing career and now has his SFA / UEFA Elite Youth Licence and A Licence. He has been working in an SFA Performance School and has been identified as one of the best up and coming coaches in the country.
In addition to the new recruits there will be a reshuffle of existing staff which will see Billy Kirkwood move to assist Graeme Murty with the Development Squad and have a specific role managing the loans process for players going out to obtain 1st team experience. Alan Boyd will take over as Head of Children’s Academy and David McCallum, the ex-Queens Park Academy Director, will manage the 16’s and 17’s age groups as Head of Senior Academy and will be the new lead coach with the U17 group.
Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland, commented: “Rangers Performance Coaching Culture is another exciting initiative we have been working on for some time. Graeme will lead the project along with the new heads of each Academy phase. It is a great time for the new coaches to be joining us as they will, alongside some top existing staff, be challenged to become experts in their field. I know the young players will be excited to be working with ex-Rangers players however they are joining the Academy, not as a consequence of being ex-players, but because we believe they have the qualities, potential and attributes which will assist us in taking our Academy coaching to a new level.”