Murdoch targets Rangers first-team place

ANDY MURDOCH has targeted a first-team place at Rangers next season after returning from the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens.

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Andy Murdoch (right) celebrates Rangers' SFA Youth Cup win with Charlie Telfer
Andy Murdoch (right) celebrates Rangers' SFA Youth Cup win with Charlie Telfer

Midfielder Murdoch helped the Gers to reach the quarter-finals of the international youth tournament over in Asia.

The Ibrox club beat Singapore CC and drew with both BC United and Manchester City before losing to Newcastle United in the last eight.

Murdoch now wants to follow in the footsteps of his contemporaries Fraser Aird, Robbie Crawford, Calum Gallagher and Lewis Macleod and force his way into Ally McCoist's plans.

He said: "I am looking to be like some of the young lads who have made the step up to the first team at Rangers. Hopefully I am involved when we return for pre-season. Then maybe I can push on from there."

Murdoch featured in the top team in the 2013/14 campaign when he came on as a substitute in the 5-0 win over East Fife in SPFL League One.

But injuries prevented the 19-year-old from playing more and he is hoping to stay fit and emulate the success that the likes of Aird and Macleod have enjoyed.

He said: "I played in the pre-season friendly against Newcastle United last summer and really enjoyed the experience. I was surprised to get on.

"It was a good experience. It made me realise what I need to do to get to their level and be a good professional footballer at the highest level.

"I got on as a substitute the weekend after the Newcastle game. Then I picked up an injury and that slowed me down.

"I got fit again and got back in the team midway through the season, but then I got injured once again. Injuries prevented me from making more appearances."

Murdoch added: "Seeing a guy like Calum Gallagher get his chance in the first team in the second half of last season gave me confidence I can make the breakthrough.

"The manager has shown he is prepared to give the young lads a chance if they are doing well. He comes to most of the Under-20 games so if you do well he will see you."

Meanwhile, Rangers have been drawn to face County Armagh and Liverpool in the Dale Farm Milk Cup in Northern Ireland next month.

This is the first time in 21 years the Ibrox club has competed in the renowned youth tournament and they have landed a plum draw.

Speaking to the official Rangers website, Rangers Academy directory Jimmy Sinclair said: "The Milk Cup has developed a fantastic reputation. The quality of opposition will provide a great test for our team."

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