Ajax’s much-fabled youth policy has been back in the spotlight again after the Dutch side’s incredible Champions League run continued – leading to some pundits to claim Rangers and Celtic should follow suit and follow the model set by them.
Former Rangers star Ronald de Boer was one of a number who made similar comments about Rangers copying the Dutch masters but the league system in Scotland simply won’t allow it to work.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 22: Rangers manager Graeme Murty looks on during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on April 22, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
While Rangers can spend all the money they want and put as much time as they possibly can in, without the chance to play competitive games consistently then our youngsters will remain a step behind.
Every major league on the continent has Colt teams in some shape or another with only the home nations being seemingly against the idea.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Stephen Kelly of Rangers is seen during the Betfred Scottish League Cup Quarter Final match between Rangers and Ayr United on September 26, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Gers director of football Mark Allen has again come out in favour of finding some way of getting Colt teams into the league system
with coach Michael Beale echoing that on Twitter.
Ajax’s own youngsters play in the second-tier of the Dutch league and regularly have to play against senior professionals fighting for their livelihoods rather than the sanitised environment of reserve and academy football.
Coming through the ranks with Ajax, the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek all cut their teeth in the Jong Ajax side before progressing to the first-team.
COWDENBEATH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 30: Gary Fraser of Cowdenbeath vies with Glenn Middleton of Rangers during the rearranged Scottish Cup match between Cowdenbeath and Rangers at Central Park on January 30, 2019 in Cowdenbeath, Scotland.
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
It’s the same with top players all across Europe – yet in Scotland clubs have no other option than to loan their young players out and hope they get a game somewhere, in an environment that’s going to aid their development.
Clubs can do everything in their power to help develop the best young players possible but when they can’t then let them go out and play because it might upset a few hundred fans somewhere then there’s something seriously wrong.

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