Rangers Head of Academy, Craig Mulholland, has outlined exciting plans for the Gers ‘B’ team amid the return of youth team players to training, as quoted by Rangers.co.uk.
On-pitch Gers Academy activity was shut down for months amid the global health crisis, but players have been working hard on their skills at home while the club have taken the opportunity to conduct a mini-restructuring of the department.
Perhaps the most significant of the changes is the creation of a specific ‘B’ team for the 2020/21 campaign.
“So if you look at the project we have, we are coming towards the end of a five-year programme and I have been saying, ‘right, how do we get better and more leading and dynamic for the next phase,” said Mulholland, as quoted by Rangers.co.uk. “So what we have created is a ‘B’ team in name and it has players who are coming out of the Academy or first-team players who are coming back down.”
“The ‘B’ team will have a different identity to the rest of the Academy, but it will follow the first-team in schedule, tactically and in terms of practice.
“We have Kevin Thomson and Brian Gilmour who will go to work with that group, both being ex-Rangers players.”
He went on to stress that there would be more fluidity in terms of the coaching structure, with those in the ‘professional phase’ moving around to maximise collaboration opportunities with the aim of boosting player development.
Mulholland outlines exciting Rangers ‘B’ team plans – Verdict
Supporters have bemoaned the lack of homegrown talent in the Rangers senior team in recent seasons and it will be exciting for many to see the club actively attempting to address the issue.
Having a specific ‘B’ team that is somewhat detached from the safety net of the Academy and more closely linked with Steven Gerrard’s core squad, is a smart way to try to help to prepare young players for the demands of representing the first-team.
It’s all about creating a genuine pathway so that age-group successes can translate into homegrown players making it big.
Given that the Gers still have a sizeable senior squad despite moving multiple players on already this summer, the existence of the ‘B’ team should also provide fringe players with the opportunity to get minutes at appropriate times.
Having the structure in place is the first step but a substantial fixture list will now have to be arranged, as the ‘B’ team model will only succeed if there are regular matches against quality opposition.