WITH a grin from ear to ear it is evident Graeme Murty can’t wait for his side’s first game of their new season against Dutch side Feyenoord.

The Under 20s kick off their innovative new games programme this Saturday against last season’s Eredivisie Champions in Rotterdam and to say the Head Development Squad Coach is excited is an understatement.

The academy players will test themselves against Europe’s elite this term after pulling out of the SPFL Development League.

Speaking to RangersTV Murty said:

“I can’t wait, I can’t wait to challenge the players, I can’t wait to go to a new environment and see how the players manage it and cope with it, and see if they feel as though they worthy of being on the same pitch.

“I think that’s a national and British problem, that we feel inferior at times technically and tactically to continental teams. So I can’t wait to see how the boys react.”

“We wanted a continental one for the first one and Feyenoord came up, they said they could accommodate us and we couldn’t wait to go to be honest.

“But I’ve looked at the list of names in the fixtures and I think there are some great names in there, some great challenges for the players and I honestly can’t wait to start. Bring it on.”

Murty knows the decision to put his team up against the world’s best at their age level will be a tough ask at times but he insists it will provide a crucial lesson for the young Gers.

He continued: “What we said to them is all the things that we did need to be done to a higher standard.

“So the games model won’t change. We will try to play the same way, we’ll try and dominate the ball, and we’ll try and press in the same manner if it works.

“It’ll be a learning curve for the coaches as well so we’ll look and we’ll decide if there is anything tactically we need to change, but we’ve told all the players they need to be much sharper.

“They need to be much tighter, they need to be much more focussed and I think that of all the things that are going to happen to the players this year, mentally they are going to be fatigued.

“They are going to have to concentrate so hard and that’s the reason we have done it, to make sure they get stressed in the right way and we want to see how they cope.

“We’re going to try and safely break them and put them back together again better than they were before.

“We want the player to figure out the formation, we want the player to figure out their style and their strengths and weaknesses.

If I go and fix everything for them, and I’m not saying I can because it will be new to me as well, all I’m going to realise is what I already know and I live in my head 24/7, no-one else wants to go in there!

“It’s about the players. I need to know what they know and what they don’t know so we can help them develop. It will be hard and it will be a test, but that’s what we are doing it for.”

Article Copyright © 2019. Permission to use quotations from this article online is only granted subject to appropriate source credit and hyperlink to www.rangers.co.uk