Rangers’ coaching staff has developed gradually since Michael Beale returned to Ibrox as the Gers’ latest manager in 2022. So, who features in the tactician’s backroom team in Glasgow?
Manager: Michael Beale
Ibrox chiefs appointed Beale as the latest manager of Rangers in November 2022 to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The English coach signed an initial contract with the Premiership giants until May 2026. While the gig is only his second position as a first-team manager yet.
Beale started his coaching career as a youth trainer at Chelsea in 2002. He had only retired as a player one year earlier at just 21 years old. While the Bromley native’s career has since taken him to Liverpool, Sao Paulo and Aston Villa. He also worked at Rangers for three years.
Steven Gerrard brought Beale with him to Rangers after he became their manager in June 2018 as his assistant. The pair would oversee more than 190 fixtures and lifted the latest top-flight title in Rangers’ trophy cabinet before they took over at Aston Villa in November 2021.
Beale only stayed in Birmingham until May 2022 before becoming the manager of Queens Park Rangers in his first foray as a first-team boss. Yet he would only oversee 22 games with the Rs before Beale returned to Rangers to replace Van Bronckhorst as their latest manager.
Assistant manager: Damian Matthew
Beale brought three members of his backroom team at QPR to Rangers to form his coaching staff at Ibrox. Damian Matthew followed the tactician from west London to Glasgow to serve as his assistant. He had only joined the English Championship club alongside Beale in June.
Matthew joined Beale’s coaching staff at QPR following a brief tenure as Millwall’s academy manager. He had previously held positions at Charlton Athletic, Southend United and Punjab U18s before joining the Lions. Matthew first became a coach as a U21 assistant in 2008.
Assistant manager: Neil Banfield
Neil Banfield also followed Beale from QPR to Rangers to join their coaching staff as another assistant manager. The pair first formed a bond when Beale was a part of the academy fold at Charlton aged 16. Banfield worked as a youth coach with the Addicks from 1990 to 1997.
Arsenal later hired Banfield to serve as their U18 manager through to 2004 when he became their reserve-team boss. The former Crystal Palace defender would go on to become Arsene Wenger’s first-team assistant from 2012 to 2018. While Banfield later moved to QPR in 2019.
First-team development coach: Harry Watling
Harry Watling also left QPR to follow Beale to Rangers and join the coaching staff as a first-team development coach. He only joined the Rs after Beale took charge at Loftus Road as an individual coach. Before that, he was the gaffer of USL Championship team Hartford Athletic.
Chelsea gave Watling his first foray into coaching with their academy in 2009. He spent five years in west London before moving across the English capital to join Millwall’s academy. The Lions and West Ham United would also each later name Watling as their academy manager.
Watling’s role as part of Beale’s coaching staff at Ibrox sees him work with the young players coming through from Rangers’ academy team. He acts as a bridge between the two teams to help those coming through from the Gers’ youth folds adapt to the tasks of a senior side.
Goalkeeping coach: Colin Stewart
Colin Stewart first joined Rangers as the club’s academy goalkeeping coordinator in 2015. He later became the goalkeeping coach in 2017 under Graeme Murty and has worked for Pedro Caixinha, Gerrard and Van Bronckhorst. Stewart is the longest-serving member of their staff.
Beale opted to keep the ex-Scotland U21 goalkeeper at Rangers having worked with Stewart as part of Gerrard’s coaching staff. He admired the coach’s efforts from their time together.
Head of performance: Jack Ade
Beale brought Jack Ade to Rangers as part of his coaching staff to serve as the Gers’ head of performance. The pair had previously worked together while Beale was the U23 manager at Liverpool. Ade has also worked for Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur in recent years.
First-team rehabilitation performance coach: Eamon Swift
Rangers named Eamon Swift as a first-team rehabilitation performance coach in May 2021 in Gerrard’s coaching staff. He had been out of football for the previous year after leaving West Ham in July 2020. The Hammers first employed the sports scientist back in October 2005.
First-team analyst: Graham Stevenson
Graham Stevenson joined Rangers’ coaching staff to head up their first-team analyst crew in July 2018. He had been a part of the Gers’ setup since July 2015 after first joining the club as an academy analyst. Ibrox chiefs later made Stevenson a technical scout from 2017 to 2018.