WALTER SMITH hopes Rangers supporters will turn out in their numbers this weekend as the Rangers legends return to Ibrox.
A host of former players return to Glasgow with legendary manager Smith back in the dugout for the ‘home’ Gers team, with faces from the entertainment world also bolstering the squads.
Smith will be delighted to walk out once again at Ibrox, and told us: “We are looking forward to it, and looking forward to seeing what sort of condition some of our former players are in at the present moment!
“The fact we have two teams of former Rangers players I think is a great thing and will be terrific for supporters who come along.
“The whole day will be a nice day for everyone – for the guys who come and play they meet their old teammates and Rangers supporters have always come out in their numbers for these types of games, and hopefully will see a lot of the guys who have served the club well over a number of years.”
The condition of players, as Smith alluded to, could pose him something of a problem, with fitness ranging wildly from some who haven’t played for a number of years to others like Thomas Buffel, who as recently as last weekend, captained Genk in the Belgian Cup Final.
Smith continued: “I think for most of the guys, their biggest problem will be their level of fitness – there are a lot of them who have continued to play – Thomas Buffel for example, who is nearing the end of his career, but is still playing away which is nice to see after having some major injury problems at Rangers.
“But I think the rest of the lads will take it in the manner it is – I don’t think you will have a circumstance where anyone will take advantage of a lack of fitness – and most of the guys will look forward to going out there and looking to do their upmost to last the 90 minutes.”
Of course, the game is in aid of the Rangers Charity Foundation and Rangers Youth Development Company, with Smith pleased to see both causes being supported.
He said: “The Youth Development side of things is something which is sometimes overlooked at Rangers – it’s something where the boys who have worked their over the years have worked extremely hard and a fair number of players have been brought into the first team pool.
“So it’s nice that some of the money will help them, and then Connal [Cochrane] has worked hard with the Foundation for many, many years and they have put a great deal of money into different causes.
“So hopefully a great number of Rangers supporters will turn out and be a great benefit to both causes.”
Players will arrive in Glasgow from near and far as the week progresses – including Craig Moore from Australia and Sebastian Rozental from Chile.
“That will be terrific,” Smith added. “I spoke with Sebastian during the week and he is really looking forward to coming over and playing again, and he is bringing his wife and young son to show them where his old man played.
“So it will be nice to see everyone – even the Scottish guys as it’s not often you get an opportunity to bring them all together.”