Rangers have announced the release of five youth team players, including Aidan Wilson, who made two first-team appearances at centre-back.
The news was confirmed via the club website on Tuesday morning. Four of the players – Wilson, Aidan McAdams, John Balde and Kieran McKechnie – were viewed as a part of the Academy system, while Julian Anderson was a member of the U18 squad.
“This is a difficult time of year for staff and players when key decisions are made on where these young men will continue their football journeys,” said Head of Academy Craig Mulholland, as quoted by Rangers.co.uk. “The likes of Aidan Wilson and Kieran McKechnie have been with us from a very young age, growing from boys into men, and bonds are created not only with them but also their parents.”
“Our role now, in keeping with Rangers’ values and standards, is to ensure that the lads feel supported with input from many different staff, receive a detailed presentation containing video, sports science data, character references, etc. and assistance in reaching a positive destination to continue their careers. We will always be here to support the lads and assist them in any way we can.”
“They leave well-rounded and educated young men and we wish them well as they enter their next chapter.”
Wilson is the highest-profile departee, as he made two Premiership appearances at centre-back against Aberdeen and St Johnstone in May 2017.
The 21-year-old defender struggled with injuries across a number of seasons but stayed fit and accumulated 12 appearances for League Two club Edinburgh City before the suspension of football.
Goalkeeper, Aidan McAdams, also spent time at Edinburgh City last season.
Attacking midfielder Julian Anderson is a USA youth international who previously played for Philadelphia Union. The teenager moves on after less than a year with the club.
This news will have been hard to take for all five young players who no doubt had hoped to go on to play major roles for the Gers first team.
Unfortunately, as is the nature of Academy systems, though, it’s simply not possible for every player to make it.
At least it looks as though the club will provide support to all those leaving, though, and each player may still be able to go on to forge a successful playing career.