Calum: I've got bunch of Celtic fans proud of my role in Rangers family

THE Rangers family have taken Calum Gallagher to their hearts.

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Calum Gallagher has been delighted with the welcome he received from top-team stars such as Jon Daly
Calum Gallagher has been delighted with the welcome he received from top-team stars such as Jon Daly

But the Ibrox kid has revealed his biggest fans are Celtic supporters.

Gallagher emerged from the Murray Park ranks to impress for Ally McCoist's side in the closing weeks of the League One campaign and will be part of the squad that will bid for Championship glory next term.

The forward was snapped up by Rangers after being spotted while playing for local side Giffnock after leaving Dundee United early in his teens.

After forging his way into the first team, scoring on his debut against Dunfermline and helping seal a third tier title, Gallagher is living the dream in Light Blue.

And the 19-year-old is delighted to be able to repay his nearest and dearest for their backing as he continues on the road to glory with Rangers.

"I come from a really supportive family and now that I am where I am I think they are more Rangers fans than Celtic fans," he told SportTimes.

"I get teased from a lot of them but a lot of them are at every game and they are really supportive.

"I have got to live my dream and play football. Now that I am where I am, I love the club and everything it stands for.

"I am so lucky to be where I am and long may that continue."

It may have taken until the closing weeks of the campaign for Gallagher to get his big break but it was to prove well worth waiting for as he impressed in League One and the Scottish Cup triumph over Albion Rovers.

He has quickly settled into a first team filled with SPFL Premiership-quality stars and, in the cases of stalwarts Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace and keeper Cammy Bell, players who have turned out for Scotland.

The transition from Murray Park kid to Ibrox star could have been a daunting one but Gallagher admits the warm welcome he received made the first team dressing room feel like home sweet home.

"When I first came in, Lee McCulloch was amazing with me," he said.

"I felt that he put a lot of attention towards me and really helped me settle in.

"He is still a great influence and he is amazing around the dressing room.

"He is deserving of the club captaincy, there is no doubt about that.

"Guys like Jon Daly have been great for me, as a striker. He has been able to impart his wisdom in a positional sense and talked me through a few things.

"It has been great to work with the gaffer as well and it can only help me working with someone who was as good a player as him.

"It would be unfair of me to single out anyone, everyone really pulls their weight and helps integrate the younger players into the squad. You couldn't ask for a better staff and group of team-mates."

Gallagher may have had to quickly make new acquaintances on his maiden venture into the Gers first team arena but there were a couple of familiar faces for the forward to chew the fat with.

His Murray Park peers Fraser Aird and Lewis Macleod have shone since given their chance by boss McCoist, with the pair once again impressing in League One as Rangers eased to the title this term.

It was to prove a frustrating end to the campaign for Macleod as a virus saw him forced to hang up his boots with several weeks of action still to be played.

The champions will return to pre-season training in a couple of weeks and Gallagher is confident his fellow Light Blue protege can shine once again next term.

He said: "Lewis is one of the most gifted players I have ever played with. He has got everything you need in a footballer.

"Fingers crossed everything works out for him. If he is able to keep himself fit and healthy then there is no knowing where he could end up in the game.

"It must have been really frustrating for him not being able to play in the second half of the season.

"It is something all players go through, everyone gets injuries. It is horrible coming in and feeling the energy about the place but not being able to exert yourself and play your part.

"I am sure it was torture for him but here's hoping he comes back better than ever next season."

It is less than a month before McCoist will start putting his players through their paces ahead of the big Championship kick-off but there has only been one arrival at Ibrox thus far, Kenny Miller clinching his third Gers switch last week.

Having allowed Andy Little to leave after his contract came to an end, another striker is one of McCoist's top priorities as he looks to bolster his squad, with former Ibrox forward Kris Boyd linked with a return to the club.

And Gallagher, who has spent most of his first team career in a role on the right of the Rangers midfield, is eager to show what he can do in front of goal.

He said: "That is where I have always played, through the middle.

"But I know that I have the traits that let me play wider as well. I am happy to play anywhere in a Rangers top.As long as I am on the pitch and doing my bit for the team I am delighted.

"I would love to get a run out in what I see as my natural position. But you never know where you will end up. Lee McCulloch has played in just about every position during his career.

"If you can make an impact in multiple positions then that is great. Doing that gives you more of a chance of getting on the pitch than if you were restricted to one position.

"It is not something I grudge or anything like that. I am delighted to play wherever the manager wants and I will go out and give my all for Rangers."

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