EXCLUSIVE: Kane proving able at Blue Brazil as striker Hemmings waits for call to Rangers frontline action

OPPORTUNITY has emerged through adversity for a select group of Rangers players.

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Kane Hemmings hopes his loan spell at Cowdenbeath will set him up to challenge for a first-team strike slot at Rangers
Kane Hemmings hopes his loan spell at Cowdenbeath will set him up to challenge for a first-team strike slot at Rangers

There have been few silver linings in the dark clouds that have hung over Ibrox during the most tumultuous year in the club's 140-year history.

However, the emergence of the next group of potential Gers stars has raised optimism of a bright future.

Most of the latest budding Light Blues have cut their teeth in the heat of battle in the Irn-Bru Third Division, but Kane Hemmings finds himself in a different challenge.

Instead of bidding for title glory with Ally McCoist's side, he is battling relegation with First Division Cowdenbeath.

After impressing during his initial loan spell, he has agreed to extend his stay in Fife until the end of this month.

Hemmings has seen the likes of Lewis Macleod, Barrie McKay and Fraser Aird stake their claim for a first-team berth after McCoist was left with a depleted squad for the championship race.

It has been the Murray Park proteges who have shone brightest for Rangers this season, with the youngsters impressing in their maiden exposure to the rigours of top-team football.

They have set the path for Hemmings to follow and the English forward hopes he can be the next one to burst on to the Ibrox scene when he returns to Glasgow.

"What happened to the club isn't the best and everyone knows that but it has given the young boys a chance to play and they have all done well when they have been called upon," he said.

"I don't see why I can't do the same if I get my chance to play. Hopefully I can go back before the end of the season and get some game time there.

"It is good to see the young boys coming in and doing well this season.

"It is up to them to keep improving every week and they are doing that so I am really happy for them.

"In different circumstances, who knows what would have happened? But the young boys have been put into the squad and they are all thriving on it.

"It wasn't an ideal situation at the club but everyone is making the best of it and hopefully we can kick on between now and the end of the season and win the league as soon as we can."

There are few Rangers players who leave Ibrox on loan to play at a higher level but Hemmings has made the most of his chance in Scotland's second tier.

He netted two goals in three games for the Blue Brazil last month but his efforts in the final third ultimately proved futile as Colin Cameron's side slipped to defeats to Hamilton Accies and promotion hopefuls Partick Thistle.

A series of injuries have stunted Hemmings' progress after making the move north of the border from Tamworth, with a fourth operation on his knee ruling him out of action for the early stages of the new season.

His rise up the SFL ladder has given him a chance to sample first–team action once again and it is an opportunity the striker is determined to make the most of after a frustrating spell.

He said: "It is good to be playing football again. I have not played much for Rangers recently so I am enjoying playing and getting back to fitness.

"After my loan spell is up, hopefully I can go back to Rangers and get a few games.

"I am feeling good and feeling fit. With any luck I can go to the end of the season injury-free and play.

"I still train with Rangers during the week and then with Cowdenbeath on a Thursday so the gaffer can still see me, which is a good thing.

"There are guys coming to watch me every week so they know how I am doing in the games and the gaffer can see me too.

"I wanted to go out on loan to get some games and hopefully score a few goals. I have done that so far."

McCoist's frontline options have dwindled in recent weeks due to injuries and Hemmings is eager to make the most of any chance that comes his way.

He said: "I hoped that I could make the breakthrough this season but it hasn't quite happened for me so far.

"There is still a lot of time to go this season and I am playing games and feeling sharp so my chance can still come."


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