THE RANGERS Youth Development Company has agreed a partnership with Rangers Soccer Schools and former players Kevin Thomson and Steven Smith to deliver top-class coaching sessions to key RYDC supporters for the next 6 months.
Rangers Soccer Schools run a successful programme at the Ibrox Community Complex and a number of locations around Scotland, delivering quality coaching to children of all ages.
Kevin and Steven enjoyed positive careers at Rangers and are now making their way in the coaching world. Kevin, who helped the Rangers Academy under 18s win the league and cup last season, is a key member of the youth set up at the Hummel Training Centre and also runs his own successful academy.
Steven, who progressed through the youth ranks at Rangers thanks in part to RYDC funding, started his own academy recently and is a regular co-commentator for Rangers TV. Now both men will join Rangers Soccer Schools staff in assisting RYDC to deliver high-level coaching sessions for key RYDC supporters and their children as a reward for their loyalty.
Demand for places at the sessions will be high so we will contact supporters directly who have gone above and beyond for RYDC.
Colin Stewart, RYDC Director of Operations, commented: “The Rangers Youth Development Company is delighted to enter into this partnership with Rangers Soccer Schools, Kevin Thomson and Steven Smith.
“I know Gary Gibson and the team at Rangers Soccer Schools deliver top-class coaching sessions to children of all ages around the country and we are delighted to work closely with them on this initiative.
“Kevin and Steven enjoyed terrific football careers with Rangers and other top clubs and are now passing on their extensive experiences to kids of all ages. While Kevin, of course, is a key member of the Rangers Academy coaching set up.
“As the main sponsor of our youth academy, RYDC is passionate about supporting youth football and we have donated more than £8 million to the Rangers Academy since 2002 and £825,000 in the last three years – all thanks to the generosity of Rangers fans who participate in our growing list of products.
“This new association with Rangers Soccer Schools, Kevin and Steven will see them deliver coaching sessions to some of RYDC’s supporters and their children. Rangers fans, who have gone above and beyond for RYDC.
“Rangers supporters have always given RYDC unbelievable backing and we can now reward them with the chance to experience top-level coaching courtesy of Rangers Soccer Schools and two model ex professionals.”
Gary Gibson, Rangers Soccer Schools Manager, commented: “We are delighted to link up with the Rangers Youth Development Company and help deliver high-level coaching sessions to fans who have given RYDC such tremendous backing. The Ibrox Complex is a terrific venue for kids of all ages to play football and we look forward to working with RYDC to help reward loyal supporters as an added benefit of their continued RYDC backing.”
Kevin Thomson added: “RYDC has done an unbelievable job supporting the Rangers Academy. Donating £8 million to the Academy is phenomenal really and I know Colin and the RYDC team do so much for youth football so I am delighted to help them reward Rangers supporters with the chance to train at the KT Academy.”
Steven Smith said: “As a former Rangers Academy graduate I know the positive influence RYDC has on the club with their financial backing so, like Kevin, I am delighted to help them in any way I can. Since retiring I have focused on developing my academy and it is always a pleasure to get on the training pitch. I am sure the RYDC coaching sessions we deliver will be enjoyed by all who attend.”
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.