Rangers Development Squad boss Graeme Murty has hailed yesterday’s 2-1 defeat by Carlisle United as an “invaluable experience” for the young Gers side despite slipping to defeat.
With a handful of fringe first-team players such as Matt Polster, Greg Docherty and Andy Firth as well as Eros Grezda involved, Murty’s side also had a 15 and 16-year-old paired in central defence and the former Scotland international thinks it will have really boosted their understanding of the game.
Elias Sorensen and Ryan Loft both scored for the visitors before Jamie Barjonas’ “wonder strike” as Rangers second-string side continued their Games Programme and Murty thanked the senior players for helping out the youngsters involved in the loss.
“More importantly than anything else,” Murty told Rangers TV, “Our two young centre-halves – 15 and 16 years old by the way – have had to play against mature athletes and they’ve been in a situation where for once they haven’t been able to be the fastest and the strongest and the most physical, and they’ve had to get their set-up right and had to get into position before the problems become a crisis.
“They didn’t manage to do that on two occasions and better feedback than me actually telling them stuff is for it to actually happen to them on the pitch. So they see now, ‘ah, I see the set up we need to have, I need to get this position right, otherwise, we’re going to get punished at a higher level’. They saw that today and it’s an invaluable experience for them.
“I must say thank you to the first-team players for talking them through the experience, not being too down on them when they do make mistakes. Overall it was a really, really god exercise and we showed some good bits.”
The Academy sides have been doing fantastically well over the last year or two under the likes of Murty, Craig Mulholland, David McCallum and others and promoting youngster based on ability rather than age has really helped them benefit.
Getting more into the first-team on a consistent basis is the next big challenge for the Academy staff and Steven Gerrard will have plenty of options to choose from.
With a host of Academy players also out on loan, there are some really promising young players coming through who can, hopefully, go on and make their mark in the first-team.