Rangers Colts boss Graeme Murty is expecting a “massive challenge” for his young Gers when they face National League side Wrexham at Ibrox in the Challenge Cup on Saturday – but admits they deserve the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd as he waxed lyrical about his squad.
The Colts have beaten Berwick Rangers, Stranraer, Ballymena United and Solihull Moors to reach the quarter-final and Murty is confident his players will step up against yet another senior side and book a place in the semis.
Murty was again full of praise for his players and credited the way they have stuck to the “method” drilled into them by the coaches at the Academy and don’t let themselves get flustered.
“We’re expecting a massive challenge from another senior team,” Murty told RangersNews.
“We’re expecting a different style of football from what you saw (against Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Youth League) and more development and growth from our players. I have to say, I fully expect the boys to step up to it because every challenge they’ve had this season, they’ve stepped right up to and they’ve not backed away at all.
“What is pleasing is they’ve continued to play in our style and our manner. They haven’t become flustered at all, they haven’t gone away from our method. They’ve stuck and they’ve believed in what we try to do. More pleasing than anything else though is the calmness and quality they show in possession, regardless of opponent.
“You can put them up against Man City’s comparable ages or you can put them up against Solihull and the way they handle both the occasion and the ball was outstanding.
“They deserve another opportunity and, hopefully, they have another positive and fantastic experience.”
The clash with Wrexham gives the Colts a real chance to impress with a big crowd likely at Ibrox as fans shun international football.
Murty and his side deserve a huge amount of praise for getting this far and reaching a senior semi-final would be a huge feather in the cap for the Gers Academy.
Tickets are already on sale through the club website with no official plans for pay at the gate confirmed – although they’ll likely be announced nearer the game.