The resumption of Leagues One and Two have seen a host of young players from clubs across the SPFL head out on loan as sides aim to bolster their squad for a hectic finale to the season – and the number of Academy players who have left Rangers on loan recently show why the club is so eager for Colts to be allowed to join the league.
The club have continued to push for a pathway for Colts to be allowed to enter rthe senior set up and it has again been put to clubs with various financial incentives on offer in a bit to sweeten the deal for League One and Two clubs.
📝 #RangersFC can today confirm loan moves for four Academy players:
Good luck Kane, Zac, Cole and Brian. pic.twitter.com/K4JMlXTqLb
— Rangers B & Academy (@RFC_Youth) March 12, 2021
With Jake Hastie (Motherwell), Glenn Middleton (St. Johnstone), Robby McCrorie (Livingston), Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen), Lewis Mayo (Dunfermline), Jamie Barjonas (Ayr), Rhys Breen (Partick & QotS), James Maxwell (QotS), Dapo Mebude (QotS), Stephen Kelly (Ross County), Kai Kennedy (Inverness & Raith), Josh McPake (Morton), Kieran Wright (Partick), Nicky Hogarth (Cowdenbeath), Brian Kinnear (Annan), Kyle McClelland (Falkirk), Harris O’Connor (Brechin), Matty Shiels (Clyde), Jack Thomson (Clyde), Adam Devine (Partick & Brechin), Ciaran Dickson (QotS), Ben Williamson (Arbroath), Zac Butterworth (Edinburgh City & Arbroath), Kane Richie-Hosler (Clyde), Aaron Lyall (Inverness), Cammy Palmer (Clyde) and Chris McKee (Brechin) all either currently with an SPFL side or having spent time in the SPFL this season, there have been plenty of young Gers allowed to head out on loan this term.
While clubs have an increased allowance of players they can sign on loan this term as a result of Covid, the return to something closer to normality next season means we won’t see clubs taking two or three Rangers kids on loan at a time.
Returning to playing largely meaningless youth games and the odd competitive cup tie in the rebranded SPFL Trust Trophy (Challenge Cup) isn’t enough to help the best young players fulfil their potential and challenge for first-team places at the country’s biggest clubs.
Far too many youngsters have been lost because of lack of opportunities and the gap from the top level in youth games to playing regularly in the Premiership is a massive one to make with no first-team experience.
While it seems likely that clubs will again knockback the proposals to allow Colts into the league, there’s a clear case why clubs want to take control of their own players’ development while also being able to offer some for of first-team action.
Even if Colts are allowed to join the SPFL, the ‘top’ youngsters will still need to go out on loan at some point but the experience they would gain at League One and Two level would really help them make a success of things at a higher level.
With so many clubs heavily reliant on loan players to complete this season, many of the arguments about the so-called ‘sporting integrity’ of the competitions disappear like snow off a dyke.
Hopefully, clubs see this and come around to the idea of introducing Colts into the league – and, if the interest is there in future, one day open it up to other clubs who have the means to field a Colt side.
Rangers fans have praised a senior Ger for a ‘sensational’ display at Parkhead and hammered a Celtic player for a ‘bitter’ post-match comment.