Speaking to RangersTV, Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Rangers took an Academy starlet as their 19th man to the Scottish Premiership clash against Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.

It was a jittery display from the Gers following the international break, but the points were secured in the end with Ryan Kent the standout performer.

Kent notched his first goals since joining the club on a permanent basis. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His goals and dribbling skills may have been a source of inspiration for 17-year-old Kai Kennedy, who for the first time, was watching on from the bench.

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The tricky attacker has been a standout at youth level in recent times and got the opportunity to travel and warm up with the squad ahead of the game.

“That was nothing to do with being young if you like,” Gerrard told RangersTV. “Kai’s trained with us all week, he got a cameo against Leicester and he earned the chance to come and train with the first team and warm up with us today.”

“It’ll be a good experience for him because he’s certainly a talent. There’s a lot of work to do with him, but we certainly see a bright future for him.”

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Gerrard praised Kennedy and tipped him to impress in the future. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Verdict

It may not have been the best game to watch, but it would have been a great experience for Kennedy to go through the matchday routine with the senior players he looks up to.

 

The teenager has been in excellent form this season, starring for the U19s in the UEFA Youth League, for the U18s in the Scottish Youth Cup and for the Colts in the Challenge Cup.

Bears are keen for the recent myriad Academy success to start translating into first-team-ready homegrown players, and perhaps Kennedy can be a leader in that regard.

He’s still very young and probably needs to bulk up physically before he could feasibly play at this level, but he’s impressed many in recent times and has received high praise from Gerrard here.

Let’s hope he channels today’s experience and uses it to kick on to bigger and better things in the coming months.

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