GRAEME MURTY believes every Rangers Academy player can see a pathway to the Light Blues’ first-team, and praised Pedro Caixinha for his work in creating it.
The Head Development squad coach has seen the likes of Ross McCrorie and Jordan Thompson feature in first-team games already this summer – with those players immediately passing on their experiences to the remainder of the Academy players.
Murty told RangersTV.tv: “It has been great for them and they tell all the others straight away about it. They’re still in the same changing room and they still get to come round and train on these pitches.
“So they tell them what they have done and what the standards are like, and Jordan and Ross then filtered into our game at the weekend, and their attitude was impeccable – you couldn’t fault them at all.
“They were great for the players making sure they understand what it takes to be a first-team player. They’re not there yet, but they are well on the road, and the guys behind them definitely have something to chase and they can all see that pathway.
“That’s really, really important for young players as if you try hard every day and can’t see a pathway to the first team, then it can become frustrating, it can become mundane and it can become repetitive.
“But if you have got the excitement of going through to the next level, and you can see that and almost touch it, it keeps you energised and keeps you motivated, which is what we need.
“He [Caixinha] came in to the players and told them; ‘I don’t care what your name is, if you’re doing it for the 20s, then I will look at you, you’ll come round, train with my lot and if you’re doing it then I have no hesitation in throwing you in.
“He showed that at the end of last season, and for the young players, that has got to be a real boost to their confidence.”
The other McCrorie – Robby – has departed on loan to Berwick Rangers for the season, with Murty explaining the experience that he and the rest of the players who will head away from Auchenhowie will and need to gain.
Murty continued: “Robby had a good season last year, but now he needs to go and deal with men in a men’s setting and play men’s football and be exposed to that. It’s all about his education, being exposed to that and broadening that.
“We have to make sure we don’t institutionalise our players by only playing in one way with pretty football – we have to make sure whatever gets thrown at them they have a broad enough toolbox to go and handle it.
“Standing in front of 50,000 at Ibrox, all of a sudden your technique might be off, or physically they don’t feel quite as good – you still have to find a way to be effective in a game, and these experiences, hopefully, will give the guys that toolbox to draw upon when they are being challenged.”