Rangers Football Club has agreed an innovative partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council that will see the most talented young players combining their academic and football studies in a new and challenging environment.

The Rangers Academy, and indeed the whole football department, has undergone significant change over the last year and work is ongoing with the key objective to create a modern, progressive and innovative football department which is recognised as a leader in the field.

Today, the Club is pleased to announce another exciting initiative which will enhance the education and football development options available to our young players and give them the best possible chance to grow as human beings – not just footballers.

From August, 24 of our best youth prospects who are aged 11 to 15 will move their education to Boclair Academy – one of the top performing schools in Glasgow – which will complement their football education at The Rangers Football Centre.

The football element of their education will be delivered at the school by Alan Boyd, one of the Club’s highly-rated coaches who is joining the Academy on a full-time basis, supported by a team of coaches, sports scientists and analysts.  Creag Robertson will also join the Club from Falkirk FC in a new position as Head of Academy Education & Business and he will support the school with regard to the players’ academic education and manage the relationships between all of the project’s partners.

Rangers Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland, commented: “We are delighted to be taking the next critical step towards achieving our Academy ambitions and putting us in line with the top European clubs who all operate a model similar to this.

“Getting this project off the ground has involved a lot of hard work by a team of talented staff and will help us produce a much higher quality and different type of player for Rangers.

“No longer should talented footballers need to make a choice between education and football. We are extremely grateful for the backing of the Rangers Board to allow us to move the Academy forward and are excited about working with Head Teacher Douglas Brown and his team at Boclair Academy to deliver something special.

“We want to create our own home grown players who excel at the highest level of the Scottish game and in Europe, and also recruit players externally who we can develop and add to their value, through the high performance environment we are creating.”

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Rangers Managing Director Stewart Robertson commented: “We are delighted to confirm a new partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council. Boclair Academy and our own Academy at Auchenhowie will benefit greatly from the association, with our talented youth players receiving the highest standard of education and the pupils at Boclair enjoying top class coaching sessions from our Academy staff.

“Education and sport go hand in hand and I am confident this initiative will be a huge success for everyone.  This new programme further enhances the Board’s commitment to creating a modern football environment, with developing players at the heart of our business strategy.”

Councillor Maureen Henry, Convener of East Dunbartonshire’s Education Committee, said: “This is fantastic news for the school and for East Dunbartonshire. For these boys who are showing footballing talent, the partnership offers a flexible curriculum meaning they can maintain their training regime and receive additional teaching support so schoolwork doesn’t suffer.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to attract Rangers Football Club to join up with one of our schools and I am sure that it will reap rewards for everyone involved. The partnership will be reviewed after a year with a view to including S4 in future. I look forward to welcoming our new pupils and wish them every success.”

Head Teacher Douglas Brown is excited to welcome the new pupils and embark on the partnership with Rangers. He added: “This is such an exciting development for the school and we cannot wait to get things underway in the new term.

“Boclair Academy is already a busy, thriving hub of activity and the addition of these young men will bring a new energy. On their initial visit they integrated very well into their year group. They were polite, engaged and enthusiastic and were a credit to themselves, their families and the Club.”

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