Rangers kid on Luca-out for top-team spot

LUCA GASPAROTTO hopes Rangers claim the League One crown as soon as possible - to give him a chance of first-team football before the end of the season.

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Luca Gasparotto's wish is that an early title success for Rangers will open the door for the young kids to be given a first-team chance by Ally McCoist
Luca Gasparotto's wish is that an early title success for Rangers will open the door for the young kids to be given a first-team chance by Ally McCoist

The Canadian kid has been tipped for a bright future at Ibrox, but has struggled to make the breakthrough into Ally McCoist's plans in recent months as the club have raced clear at the top of the table.

Captain Lee McCulloch and summer signing Bilel Mohsni have formed a solid partnership at the heart of the Light Blues rearguard and will lift the title in a matter of weeks as the Gers storm towards two-in-a-row.

McCoist could rotate his squad once the silverware is in the Ibrox trophy cabinet and Gasparotto, who will turn out for Gordon Durie's Under-20 side in their Scottish Cup tie with Dunfermline this weekend, is eager to show what he can do following a loan stint at Stirling Albion earlier in the campaign.

He said: "The same happened last season, when me, Andy Murdoch and Danny Stoney all got a chance.

"I'm hoping the same thing happens this year, that the gaffer can throw in some of the young boys to get experience. I went on loan earlier in the season to get some experience, which was really good for me.

"It gave me a taste of what it's like to play first-team football. Even although it was the lower league, it was against more experienced players and helped me develop as a player.

"Hopefully the gaffer can get some of us young boys in. We've been working hard with Dukey, who's done a great job."

With McCulloch and Mohsni both suspended for Saturday's victory over Ayr United, many Gers fans had hoped to see Gasparotto in action at Somerset Park.

The defender was overlooked, however, with Emilson Cribari and Seb Faure filling in at centre-back.

Gasparotto's chance is likely to arrive before the end of the campaign and the Murray Park kid is determined to use his latest setback as motivation.

He said: "It's always nice to be in the manager's thoughts. I was disappointed not to get into the squad, but I'm delighted for Craig Halkett, who's been playing really well for the Under-20s and deserves a chance, along with all the young boys I've been playing with.

"We've all been playing really well and it's great for them to get in the squad and on the bench. I'm just going to keep working hard and hopefully the chance will come round again.

"There's always a chance (to break through), with injuries and suspensions. You just have to keep working hard and waiting for that chance.

"When it does, you have to grab it and hold on to it. I was disappointed not to get into the squad, but I know it won't be the last chance.

"At the end of last season there were injuries and I got in; I even got a start. I'm disappointed but it's not the end of the world. I'm just going to keep working hard and wait for another chance to come along."

While Gasparotto has had to be patient and wait for his chance to shine at Ibrox, he has seen Murray Park peers Lewis Macleod and Fraser Aird make the most of their big breaks.

The duo have turned in a number of impressive performances for McCoist's side this term and the defender admits they are the ones to look up to.

Gasparotto said: "All the young boys know that it's round the corner. Lewis and Fraser have been doing really well. I'm delighted for them and hopefully some more young boys can follow in their footsteps in the coming years."

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