Rangers Academy products Robby McCrorie and Billy Gilmour saw their excellent form since the start of 2020 rewarded today with McCrorie named in the Scotland squad and Gilmour picking up Chelsea’s Academy Player of the Year Award – and the success of the pair is a sign that the club’s Academy is continuing to head in the right direction under Craig Mulholland.

After Ross McCrorie’s exit to sign for Aberdeen last week, there was some concern over the Academy’s function in producing players for the first-team at Ibrox but the rewards for the other McCrorie and Gilmour are a clear positive.

Gilmour made the breakthrough into Chelsea’s first-team last season and put in a string of impressive performances before his campaign was cut short by knee injury.

McCrorie excelled last season on loan at Livingston, returning to the Tony Macaroni Arena this season, and joins Ibrox colleagues Jon McLaughlin and Ryan Jack in Steve Clarke’s squad for the Nations League games with Israel and the Czech Republic.

Seeing both do so well is testament to the work being done in the club’s Academy and follows hot on the heels of Rangers Academy players dominating Scot Gemmill’s Scotland under-21 squad.

The Gers have seen the number of youth internationals at the club continually increase and McCrorie’s elevation to the senior squad is the first real sign of someone from the club’s Academy properly making the step from talented youngster to first-team star.

Mulholland and his staff have overseen a massive overhaul of the club’s youth programme in the last five years, and there were more changes over the summer as the B/Colts team was taken over by Kevin Thomson with Graeme Murty taking on a wider role encompassing various age groups.

Nathan Patterson looks set to be the next youngster to get a regular place in the first-team squad and the teenager is another who has excelled as he’s worked his way through the age groups at Auchenhowie before being promoted to Gerrard’s squad.

There’s still a long way to go before the Academy is delivering the sort of conveyor belt of talent everyone hopes for but with the likes of McCrorie on the brink of making his senior international debut, things are heading in the right direction.

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