Rangers have confirmed the departures of ten Academy players, with Ciaran Dickson a shock inclusion on the list despite signing a contract extension in January.
The exits were announced on Tuesday afternoon, with Dickson, Daniel Finlayson, Nathan Young-Coombes, Jamie Barjonas, Zac Butterworth, Dapo Mebude, Matthew Shiels, Harris O’Connor, Brian Kinnear and Nicky Hogarth the players moving on.
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) June 8, 2021
“It is always a sad time of year when you see a number of young men, some of whom you have seen grow from being very young children, move onto the next step in their journey,” said Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland [Rangers.co.uk]
“However, while it is always disappointing to leave a club like Rangers, this moment presents an exciting new opportunity to take their career in a new direction and use all the attributes they have developed while learning in Rangers Academy. I have no doubt each and every one of the lads who are moving on to pastures new will have strong careers in the game as there is some real talent in this group.
“Danny and Nathan already have good moves to clubs in the Scottish and English Premierships respectively, which also provides Rangers with a positive return, while many of the other lads have either secured or are already considering very good offers.”
Finlayson has moved to St Mirren, where he spent last season on loan, but Young-Coombes’ Premier League club is unconfirmed, although it was reported in May that he had agreed a switch to newly-promoted Brentford [Football Transfers].
Kelty Hearts have already confirmed the signing of Barjonas, while Shiels has joined Hamilton.
Of the ten youngsters leaving the club, the departure of Dickson is undoubtedly the biggest shock.
The 19-year-old midfielder made his first-team debut in a League Cup clash against Falkirk in November and signed a contract extension in January, with his new deal due to run until 2023 [Rangers.co.uk]. He then joined Queen of the South on loan.
No explanation was provided as to why his contract won’t be fulfilled.
All the other youngsters moving on spent the second half of the 2020/21 season out on loan, with Dapo Mebude at Queen of the South, Harris O’Connor at Brechin City, Zac Butterworth at Clyde, Brian Kinnear at Annan Athletic and Nicky Hogarth at Cowdenbeath.
Of those five, only Mebude made a first-team appearance, with the 19-year-old coming on at Kilmarnock on the final day of the 2018/19 season.