Rangers Colts saw their fantastic Challenge Cup run come to an end yesterday after losing 2-1 at the hands of Championship Inverness Caley Thistle – and it should prompt changes to allow the talented kids to play their way up the league ladder.
Graeme Murty’s side were the better team for long spells against Caley and Murty admitted after the game that his side “deserved” to reach the final and a clash with Raith Rovers.
Having beaten senior sides in every round this season, the Rangers youngsters have done incredibly well to see off Berwick Rangers, Stranraer, Ballymena United, Solihull Moors and Wrexham before yesterday’s game.
Proposals have long been batted back and forth over how to find a way for Colts to enter the league pyramid – but any resolution still looks to be a long way off.
More and more clubs are getting behind the idea now and giving the likes of Kai Kennedy, Ciaran Dickson, Rhys Breen, Dapo Mebude and others the chance to play every week in a competitive environment should be a no brainer.
While the system works in some form or another in Spain, France, Germany, Holland and Italy, Scottish football seems vehemently opposed to the idea as it may leave fans of smaller clubs feeling left out.
However, with the opening of the pyramid to unprecedented levels in Scottish football, it should be the perfect time to look at a fundamental change which can benefit the whole Scottish game.
Although some insist it is purely being suggested to pacify Rangers and Celtic, Colts should be open to every full-time club in the country.
With over 500 Rangers fans making the trip to Inverness in horrific conditions and at the same time that the first-team was in action, there is an appetite from fans to watch the Colts in action too.
Allowing them to start at the very bottom level of the pyramid would also avoid any accusations of bias or favouritism in allowing Colt teams to jump several levels that other senior clubs have to negotiate their way through.
The players have shown they are capable of competing on a regular basis with teams in all divisions of the lower leagues in Scotland and the success of Rangers Colts must surely add more weight to calls for them to be allowed into the league.