COLIN STEWART is thrilled to have been named as goalkeeping coach in the new management set-up, and reckons it’s a reward for his hard work.
Stewart, who has been performing the first-team role since last October, has been mightily impressed with the players added to the pool so far, and believes the added competition will stand the squad in good stead for the season ahead.
Speaking to RangersTV, he said: “I was delighted. This is something I have worked for a number of years since I finished playing. Being thrust into that environment last season was great, and a great learning experience.
“So I was absolutely delighted to get the call and I am excited by the road ahead and the season ahead. Once the call came I was desperate to get pre-season started and get underway.
“It is a change for the club now and we are trying to get the club back to where we want it to be. All these players coming in are going to add to the competition, and maybe that is something that was lacking last year in terms of that competitiveness in each position.
“But with the guys who have come in, we have certainly added quality and experience in the right areas, and it is going to make the challenge a hell of a lot better.”
Stewart is the only member of the new coaching staff to have been previously at Rangers, but he has been pleased to have been welcomed so warmly by Steven Gerrard’s staff, as well as having a role to play in helping the new men settle too.
“The management group and coaches have been great and very welcoming. We have been thrust into a trip straight after pre-season has started, but it has been great.
“We were sitting chatting about it last night, and you feel as if we have been here for two or three weeks with the fact that the staff have been getting on so well, and it has felt like a seamless takeover, and long may that continue.
“I’ve been sounded out about various aspects around the club. They have been asking about the players, the staff and how various things.
“It’s been well-documented what this club is all about, and having been thrust into that environment, it is a challenge which you just have to embrace.
“But you are in that place where you want to be – it is a magnificent club to be at, I am delighted to be involved and hopefully it is the start of good things at the club.”
So far, Stewart has been pleased by the work put in by his four goalkeepers – Allan McGregor, Jak Alnwick, Wes Foderingham and Robby McCrorie at the club’s pre-season training camp in Spain.
“It has been a good start,” he continued. “We have a really good group of goalkeepers we are working with. Allan McGregor has come back into that group and is obviously no stranger to Rangers.
“So that brings that element of competition back to the club, and we have three really strong goalkeepers. Young Robby McCrorie has come over too, so we have a real challenge on our hands.
“They are a good group to work with, but when you see some of the clips back from training, I was probably their biggest enemy at some points. But they have taken the challenge on well, they are working extremely hard, and that is what they need to be doing day-in, day-out at training to make sure they are performing come a Saturday.”