IN my day, the reserve team was filed with players who couldn’t get a game for the first team or guys that were coming back from injury.

If you were a young player, you could play for a few weeks and then find yourself out of the side because first team players needed a run-out to get match fit.

We now have the Development League in place, but Rangers have decided that they won’t field a team in the Under-20 structure next season.

People look at the Rangers outfit and see that we have been beaten by Celtic and finished sixth in the standings and think that our Academy structure isn’t producing.

But we have had 15, 16, 17 and 18-year-olds in the side week in week out getting experience and the ones at 19 and 20 are out on loan playing first-team football in the lower leagues.

Now that younger group will have a chance to play against Manchester United or Benfica as Rangers line up a series of fixtures with their counterparts from across Europe. I think it is a fantastic idea.

Rather than going up to Inverness or playing a Motherwell or Kilmarnock at the training ground, the kids will have a chance to play against some of the best young players in the game.

That has to bring them on a lot quicker and even if they are not winning the matches, the experience will be invaluable for them. At that age, that is what it is all about.

You learn from playing against better players and against better teams. You have to test yourself and be taken out of your comfort zone.

That is what Craig Mulholland will be looking at. Hopefully it really brings our players on and we see more kids coming through into the first team.