Rangers have long pushed to have Colt teams admitted into the league pyramid in a bit to improve the standard of youth development – and the midweek win over Solihull Moors must strengthen the Gers’ case to allow them in.
So far, only the Challenge Cup allows Colt teams to take part, with Graeme Murty’s side the last of the 12 Colt teams remaining in the competition ahead of a quarter-final clash with Wrexham.
The Light Blues kids have beaten Berwick Rangers, Stranraer, Ballymena United and Solihull so far and will need to get by three more senior sides to get their hands on the trophy.
The side that lined up at Solihull actually missed many of the ‘top’ Academy players at the club with many out on loan or needed by the first-team, leaving Murty to pick a side with an average age of just 18 against the team sitting 9th in the National League.
On the pitch, the young Gers are more than a match for many lower league sides but it isn’t just on the pitch where there would be benefits.
436 bluenoses made the trek to the Midlands on Tuesday – 24 hours before the first-team faced Ross County – and most clubs in the lower three divisions would kill for that level of travelling support on a Saturday, nevermind a Tuesday night trip to the outskirts of Birmingham.
There is a real appetite from Gers fans to get behind the youngsters and there would be some big financial benefits to League Two sides if the Colts were admitted to the bottom tier of the SPFL.
Half of the division struggle to get that sort of number through the gates for a normal home game so the prospect of several hundred Rangers or Celtic fans coming to town to support the Colts should be appealing.
Even just in terms of increasing the profile of the clubs in the lower tiers and generating some new revenue can only help lift standards across the board and gradually improve Scottish football.
While many want to accuse those pushing for Colt teams of ‘self-interest’ – cutting our young players down before they ever really get a chance to progress if a far greater instance of ‘self-interest’ than looking at ways to improve the game for everyone.