Scouting system at Rangers has to be addressed as a matter of urgency

IT is the blueprint for the Light Blue future that should be on the top of the pile of paperwork on Graham Wallace's desk.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Ally McCoist has drawn up a blueprint on Rangers future for the attention of Graham Wallace
Ally McCoist has drawn up a blueprint on Rangers future for the attention of Graham Wallace

Yet only time will tell if the Ibrox chief executive will give the go-ahead to implement the plans, structure and vision laid out by manager Ally McCoist as he looks beyond the end of the season and to the months and years that lie ahead.

The Gers boss and Academy Operations manager at Murray Park, Craig Mulholland, have presented a paper to Wallace to outline the work that needs to be undertaken to revamp the scouting network at the club, an area that has been neglected at a time when it is needed most.

Rangers' drop down into the Third Division last season should have been a watershed moment, with everyone from the boardroom to the training pitch buying into an ethos that would herald in a new dawn and see the club produce the next crop of Scottish stars from behind the blue crested gates of Auchenhowie while recruiting up-and-coming talent to filter into the first team.

It is only 18 months ago that McCoist was speaking enthusiastically about implementing a model mirroring those in place at Ajax, PSV and Porto in Rangers' backyard, employing scouts and coaches to find and nurture promising players and turning them into stars at Ibrox before, in all likelihood, being sold on for a profit.

Part of the process has been, to a degree, a success, with the likes of Lewis Macleod and Fraser Aird emerging through the ranks to play a key role for McCoist's side as they have stormed to the brink of two-in-a-row.

The showings of Gordon Durie's Under-20 outfit has been a source of encouragement for the Light Blue legions, too, with the Murray Park kids currently on an impressive run of form and several players pushing for a shot at first-team glory before the end of the League One campaign.

But a sense of what might have been and missed opportunity continues to linger around Rangers as boardroom battles and off-field distractions have taken the spotlight off the most important area of the club - the football department.

Of the players McCoist has signed since last summer, few are the identikit star of the future as the tried and trusted household names in Scotland have done what has been required of them thus far.

Soon the Gers will have to look at the bigger picture and the wider world, however, as they move into a market that they have failed to exploit thus far, yet one which could yield significant prizes.

Even a club of Rangers size, history and stature was always going to struggle to attract the best young talent not just in Scotland but from the continent while they were playing in the Third Division, but as they move closer to the Premiership, they become a more attractive proposition for players looking to make a name for themselves.

A Rangers that is competing for domestic silverware and playing in Europe could be the ideal stepping stone to youngsters in need of a big break and a chance to impress, and while the Light Blues are not at that level yet, they have to once again aim high and think outside the box while ensuring they have a structure in place to find and attract a different type of player.

It is why the document McCoist and Mulholland presented to Wallace, and the talks the manager and his chief executive will have in the coming weeks, are so crucial to Rangers' future.

Since the controversial departure of chief scout Neil Murray last April, Rangers have been operating without a recognised scouting department at first-team level, a situation that undoubtedly needs to be addressed with a matter of urgency.

THE Ibrox board only have to look across the city to see the success Celtic have had in the transfer market recently to understand the importance of having a proper network of talent spotters in place, with the likes of Ki Sung-Yeung and Victor Wanyama just two examples of raw diamonds that can fetch big money after a few years polishing.

There is, of course, no exact science to player recruitment, especially at the level of investment Rangers can afford, but it is a route they will have to go down in the years to come and the foundations should already have been laid.

Wallace this week passed the halfway mark in his 120-day review of Rangers' operations, the outcome of which will determine where they are heading on and off the field in the coming years.

In the face of what is likely to be more cost-cutting measures, McCoist will have to shop in a far different marketplace to his predecessors in the Ibrox hotseat, the requirement to buy low and sell high more important than ever before.

The Gers boss has had little chance to project his football philosophy or plans for the future to supporters as he has been embroiled in the politics of boardroom bickering, but the success of his scouting blueprint is of paramount importance.

Time has been squandered in Rangers' rebuilding process but now it is of the essence if the future is going to be bright.

Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

152678

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Why I am raving about Lady Gaga, the Hanoi Bike Shop and Scotland’s Ambulance crew

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

What have you done to your face Renee Zellweger

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.