RANGERS had to try, try and try again. In the end, their perseverance and Greg Docherty’s patience paid off as a deal was done before the end of the January transfer window.

It took a fee of around £700,000 for Hamilton to release their prized asset before the midfielder put pen-to-paper on a four-and-a-half year deal at Ibrox.

It was an arrangement that suited all parties. For Dave MacKinnon, it is one that the Light Blues, and perhaps even Scotland, could reap the rewards of for some time, too.

Docherty realised a lifelong ambition when he became a Rangers player last month. After making his debut in the win over Ross County, he marked his first start with victory over Ayr United on Sunday.

But MacKinnon, the former Gers defender and Accies Media and Communications Director, believes that is just the start of what could become an illustrious and successful journey for the 21-year-old.

“Greg gives them an energy in midfield, which I didn’t believe Rangers had,” he told SportTimes.

“He has given them an extra dimension in there and another option. He is a winner and the type of player that will go to the last minute in a game.

“If you are in a dressing room or in a team, you are always looking for people who play for you until the last and Greg is that kind of player.

“As he grows into the ethos of Rangers, where you have to win every game because that is the expectation, he will only get better. I think he will embrace it, he will improve game by game and season by season.

“In two or three years down the line, Rangers have got a captain in the making, I have got no doubts about that.

“When he has got that experience of playing for Rangers, he is a potential captain of Scotland as well.

“In two or three years, they have got a player that can lead them for the next ten years or, if they wish to capitalise on him, they could move him on for a significant amount of money.”

Docherty was the fifth and final arrival of the January window at Ibrox as he followed Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy, Jason Cummings and Russell Martin in joining the Gers.

Unlike those that preceded him, the Scotland youth international completed a permanent switch as he brought an end to his time at the SuperSeal Stadium.

Having emerged as one of the brightest young prospects in our game, he now has a higher platform upon which to showcase his considerable talents.

MacKinnon said: “Greg is a very focused guy, a guy that has intelligence beyond his years, and he is determined to achieve what he wants to achieve.

“I think this is a great move for him and I believe it is a great move for Rangers because they are getting a player that has got a tremendous future ahead of him.

“Sometimes young players can be detracted from what the clear objective is, but Greg is very focused and he considers every aspect of his game, not just the physical aspect but in terms of thinking about the game.

“He is a very intelligent guy and the type that, when he finishes, because he is such a thinker of the game, that he could become a good manager.”

The move to Ibrox was a dream come true for Docherty and Hamilton’s loss will be Rangers’ gain as he attempts to establish himself with his boyhood heroes.

He is the latest graduate of a youth development scheme that has reaped significant rewards in recent years and the fee from his sale will allow other kids a chance to realise their ambitions in Lanarkshire, and potentially beyond.

MacKinnon spent four years with Accies before leaving the club in October and hopes all parties will benefit from the Docherty deal.

“I have got a great admiration for Hamilton, and in particular Ronnie MacDonald,” he said.

“Ronnie, from the start, put a valuation on Greg, which Rangers didn’t meet at first. But Ronnie is such a respected guy in Scottish football and he wasn’t going to budge on that.

“Rangers came back and met the valuation, but what I think Ronnie does well is that when he identifies a player with potential and he knows has a future at a high level, he actively encourages them.

“He doesn’t hold them back, he wants them to be all they can be. Some chairmen and owners of a club, the first thing they think about is the benefit for the club, but Ronnie thinks about what the benefits are for the players and the club.

“I think it was opportune for Greg that Ronnie was in his camp because he is a great admirer of Greg.

“All round, it was a great bit of business. It ticked Hamilton’s box, it ticked Rangers’ box and it ticked Greg’s box.”

The six-figure fee that Hamilton banked for Docherty is a reward for their efforts developing him in recent years as he progressed through the ranks to become an integral part of Martin Canning’s squad.

Pictures of Hamilton’s two most famous sons still adorn the walls of the SuperSeal Stadium and MacKinnon is confident Docherty can realise his potential in Light Blue.

He said: “It was interesting that Martin, who had very close experience of James McArthur and James McCarthy, said that Greg had the capabilities of eclipsing them.

“They have had great careers after leaving Hamilton and that is a great mandate from Martin. He is someone who Greg respects hugely and got close to.

“Greg is a great listener and that is something that young players sometimes forget.

“They think that when they get a bit of success that there is no more learning, but Greg learns every day and he looks to improve every day. He listens to advice from people that he respects and that is a big thing for a player.”