THE journey from Kinshasa to Glasgow has been a difficult one for Serge Atakayi. It has given him a chance he is determined to make the most of, though.

Atakayi moved to Ibrox last year from Finnish outfit FF Jaro after trials with Leicester City and Fulham and penned a three-year deal with the Gers.

He has been a regular feature of Graeme Murty’s Under-20 squad this term and is in line to make his Hampden bow in the Youth Cup final against Celtic.

Read more: Old Firm experience will be invaluable for Rangers kid Myles Beerman, says Under-20 boss Graeme MurtyEvening Times:

Atakayi was born in Congo but obtained Finnish citizenship after travelling to Helsinki for a youth tournament and applying for asylum with several of his team-mates.

The forward is one of a number of highly-rated kids within the Auchenhowie ranks and he hopes his patience will be rewarded by boss Pedro Caixinha.

“I came to Rangers in August and it is great for me to be at one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Atakayi told SportTimes.

“When I came at first, it was difficult for me to be in a new squad and a new city but I have settled in and I am enjoying it.

“I came from Jaro to Rangers and that was a big move for me to come to such a great club so I am very happy. It has always been my dream to be a footballer.

“I will do my best in training and I have to impress the manager before I can get in the first team.

“I need to show him my best when I go with the first team and when I play for the Under-20s and hopefully I will play for Rangers.”

Atakayi became the youngest scorer in Veikkausliiga history when he netted against HIFK aged just 16 and his promise was soon spotted by Rangers.

Alexei Eremenko Snr was one of his biggest influences in the fledging stages of his career before he realised his dreams and won a move.

It is Murty and Caixinha that he must impress now as he looks to follow Myles Beerman and David Bates into the Ibrox first team.

Atakayi said: “I have trained with the first team and that was good for me. I just need to keep going and wait my time.

“First I need to prove myself at Under-20s and if I can do that and play well then hopefully I can move up to the first team. I hope my chance will come but I need to keep working.

“I am happy for Myles and Batesy getting their chance and I want to follow them. All the Academy players have a chance to do what they have done and they have played very well when they have been given their chance.

Read more: Old Firm experience will be invaluable for Rangers kid Myles Beerman, says Under-20 boss Graeme Murty

“It is good for the other players to see them and we know if we work hard then we could get there so hopefully that is me one day.”

Atakayi could be given a chance to shine at Hampden tomorrow night as Murty’s side face Celtic in the Youth Cup final.

And the 18-year-old is determined to cap a memorable debut campaign in Light Blue by lifting the silverware against the Hoops.

Atakayi said: “It is a big game so we need to focus in training and do our best. We need to work hard.

“This will be my first time at Hampden and it will be good to play in a big stadium and in front of a crowd.

“It will not be an easy game but we will make it difficult for Celtic as well. We are always looking to improve and I want to win the trophy for Rangers.

Evening Times:

“It has been a big year for me and I want to win. We all believe in each other.”

* Rangers youth players like Serge Atakayi directly benefit from Rangers Youth Development Company support.

They have launched a new ‘£20k in 2017’ campaign designed to make it even easier for supporters to play Rangers Lotto and help secure an additional £20,000 towards its weekly revenue.

A simplified direct debit process is now in place - to find out more in this campaign and other RYDC products visit www.rydc.co.uk or call 0141 427 4917.