THE continuing development of Rangers under-18 side has been widely noted this season, and a big part of their success have been Murray Miller and Nathan Young-Coombes.
The duo were at Hampden Park last week for the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ Creative Competition awards, with striker Young-Coombes, midfielder Miller and Gers Greatest XI member Mark Hateley handing out prizes to award winners on the day.
Young-Coombes will be back at the National Stadium next month for the Scottish Youth Cup final, which for many, will be their first run out at the home of Scottish football.
“For a lot of us,” began the Englishman, “it is a dream come true, as not only will it be a Youth Cup final at this massive stadium, but it is against Celtic as well.
“I can’t wait to be out there and get the win already.”
Young-Coombes was part of the side which sensationally claimed the highly-prestigious Alkaas Tournament to much acclaim in Qatar last month, but he insists the memories from that have already been shelved as Gers chase a Cup and League double, with winning the latter providing a pathway to the under-19 equivalent of the UEFA Champions League.
He continued: “The boys were absolutely over the moon with what we did in Qatar, but right from the off, we have been told to forget that because there are two things we are looking to focus on – the cup and the league which hopefully gets us into the UEFA Youth League next season.
“We have proved to ourselves over in Qatar we are not a little team looking to take part in small competitions – we are a big team and we want to prove how good we are in cups like this, the league and the Youth League as well.”
Young-Coombes has enjoyed something of a rest over the international break, but it is not something he wishes to become used to with designs to eventually break back in to the England youth set-up.
He added: “I played earlier on in the season against Turkey and I can hopefully get back involved with England towards the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, for teammate Murray Miller, he will have a watching brief at Hampden next month having been ruled out of Scotland’s showpiece youth match against the other half of the Old Firm through injury.
He still looks back on the campaign as a successful one on a personal basis, however, explaining: “I feel like I have developed pretty well, though I have unfortunately been unlucky with injuries this season. I just need to push on for next season though.
“It was an amazing experience [in Qatar] to play against some top clubs all around the world, and the feeling of winning it was unforgettable.
“The feeling of winning medals and trophies, and the response of the fans over there to us winning makes you want it more and more.”