Rangers ace Lee Wallace: Light Blue core can fast track our young team to next level

RANGERS defender Lee Wallace was sculpted into shape by the Gorgie elite crew as Hearts blossomed into a team that could challenge the Old Firm.

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Lee Wallace is unsure what the future holds for Rangers but he is excited by the potential of the young players coming through the Ibrox ranks
Lee Wallace is unsure what the future holds for Rangers but he is excited by the potential of the young players coming through the Ibrox ranks

Now the Scotland left-back wants to form a Light Blues equivalent to help fast track Gers' kids to the top.

Ally McCoist's end game at Ibrox is to return to the SPL as quickly as possible, with the first step on that long road set to be completed sooner rather than later.

Winning the Irn-Bru Third Division crown is of primary importance, but the Gers must look longer term, too, with the manager blooding a number of youngsters that he hopes will serve the club with distinction in the years to come.

As one of a handful of experienced stars, Wallace has led by example this season and is confident the future is bright for the Light Blues.

"You are always going to get ups and downs throughout a season and we did take a bit of time to gel, that is a fact with young guys coming in and the foreign lads as well," he said.

"They didn't know much about the league we were in and we lost several starters, but we now have a 22-point gap at the top of the league.

"We're pleased about that and I think the future is bright with the young players coming through.

"I think they have benefited from having a few of us in the squad with five or six years' experience in the SPL, that can only help their development.

"I always remember when I was at Hearts we had seven or eight guys such as Paul Hartley, Steven Pressley, Andy Webster and Craig Gordon.

"They were big players for the club when I broke through and it was great for my confidence and my career because you always listen to them and take on board the advice they are giving you.

"You appreciate that and we have seen in recent months boys that are 16 and 17 getting five-year deals at Rangers, which is great for the club as it moves forward."

The future appears bright, but on the week that the anniversary of administration has come and gone, some uncertainty continues to surround the club.

A year ago Gers fans woke on the morning after the night before hoping that it had all been a bad dream.

Unfortunately for the Light Blue legions, their nightmare had come true, with the club they love forced into administration by disgraced chairman Craig Whyte.

It set off a chain of events that saw the Gers dragged through the mire, teeter on the brink of oblivion and only just survive their brush with death.

It also lead to them playing in the Third Division, the league which they have waltzed through as expected and will be crowned champions of in a matter of weeks.

Even that success will not bring stability, however, with, for the second summer in a row, huge questions remaining over where McCoist's side will be playing next season.

If league reconstruction plans are forced through, they could find themselves heading to the likes of Elgin, Montrose and Peterhead all over again, rendering their efforts this season virtually meaningless.

However, Wallace insists the latest months of uncertainty won't derail the long-term goal as they bid for title glory.

He said: "I'm not quite sure what will be happening and what league we will be in, there's still things to be decided, but I definitely believe the future is bright for Rangers.

"We have a lot of young boys coming through who have had a positive impact on our team, which is terrific for the youth department. I'm just delighted to be a part of it.

"Moving forward, no matter what league we are in we will continue to take positive steps forward and we will get Rangers back to where they belong."

The next stop on Gers' title procession is at Broadwood tomorrow as they look to complete their third win of the campaign over Clyde.

They will have to do so without midfielder Lewis Macleod once again, with the youngster still sidelined through injury as his impressive campaign has been halted in its tracks.

"It's a shame for Lewis that he picked up his injury against Montrose," Wallace told Ready, Rangers' matchday magazine.

"We know he will be out for a number of weeks which is a big blow as he is one that lit the place up a bit.

"A lot of the first-team boys knew about him last season when he came in and joined the training sessions.

"This season he has really burst on to the scene and done ever so well.

"But he will come back as he is mentally strong and it's been great to see boys like Lewis, Barrie McKay, Fraser Aird, Robbie Crawford, Tom Walsh and Charlie Telfer progressing as well."

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