DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL Mark Allen has been explaining his rationale behind creating the new position of Loans Manager at the club.
Rangers last week confirmed Billy Kirkwood to be taking up the role, with Allen believing to be critically important in the future development of the club’s players.
Speaking to RangersTV, Allen explained: “As part of the overarching structure within the football department we need someone that looks and monitors the loan players.
“We have been looking at this for some time now and as part of the overall structure within the football department. I am delighted we have now reached the point where we are able to appoint someone in that role.
“It is absolutely critical to have someone who is looking after your loan players – they are our assets and they are our players.
“But also, to focus on those players who are making that transition between finishing off their Academy years and development, and transitioning into the first-team, and to focus on a more bespoke programme for those set players whether that is tactical, technical, physical or mental.
“It gives them that last bit they need to convert themselves into first-team squad players so they are there to stay.
“They will be responsible for a number of things – obviously monitoring our loan players and covering their games etc. and providing reports on that.
“Moreover, when they are back here, those players who are transitioning from the Academy through before going on-loan and as part of going on loan, to monitor their own, individual, bespoke programme so we are getting updates on an almost daily basis where those players are and if they are ready.
“We have got to be ready every season to integrate players from our Academy into our first-team arena, and it really picks up on and augments all the great work which is done in the Academy.
“For want of a better description, it is like the finishing school to finish them, ready for first-team football.
“They [the loan players] belong to our club and they are our players and we do want to make sure they are looked after and monitored, and equally, to evaluate what is the best next-step for them.
“Equally so, with the younger players, when is it ready for them to go on loan? Where should they go on loan? Why should they go on loan and do they need to go on loan?
“I think when you integrate those two parts, hopefully, we are going to see converted boys coming from the Academy through to the first-team and they are a valuable part of our operation and squad.
“When I first came in, I said the primary focus was to put together a scouting network, and we have managed to establish that and got that well underway.
“If you look at the component part, we have got scouting, recruitment, we have got Academy, we have got loans, we have got medical – all of those fall under that banner of the Director of Football role.
“I think it is about picking off the right ones at the right time, and I think this is a good time now to appoint that loan manager to add and augment, and another piece of the jigsaw.”
One player who may benefit from the new Loans Manager position is Greg Docherty, who has been performing well at Shrewsbury.
Docherty, 22, has netted four goals from midfield in 14 appearances so far, with Allen also explaining why he was allowed to switch temporarily to another club.
“We felt as a group Greg needed more game time,” continued the Welshman, “and we felt maybe a move away to look at a different league would help his development.
“He is doing very well where he is at the moment, but we need to monitor Greg in great detail, and this loans manager will take that responsibility on.”