On Thursday morning, the Rangers squad travelling to the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens tournament was officially confirmed.
Youth stars such as Josh McPake, Cammy Palmer and Kai Kennedy are involved, as the Gers look to go one step better than last season. In 2018, they finished runners-up.
CONFIRMED @RFC_Youth @RangersFC squad for the 2019 @hksoccer7s – @nickyhogarth1, @Cammypalmer_56, Stephen Kelly, Nathan Paterson, @jjoshmcpake, @AndrewD_123, Daniel Finlayson, Kai Kennedy, @jordanhhousty and Matthew Shiels #hksoccer7s pic.twitter.com/X6BO3dtwK9
— HK Soccer Sevens (@hksoccer7s) May 16, 2019
However, there were two notable omissions from the mixed-age squad.
Dapo Mebude and Nathan Young-Coombes.
Could this mean one or both are set to be involved in some way against Killie on Sunday?
After the age group side featuring both players won the Scottish Youth Cup, Steven Gerrard admitted that regardless of age, if a player was good enough, they could get an opportunity.
There will scarcely be a better chance for experimentation than this, either.
Killie are hunting a Europa League spot, but for the Gers, there’s nothing tangible at stake. Second place is already sewn up.
Therefore, considering it’s the last game of the season, Gerrard might be inclined to hand out some opportunities.
Teenage talents knocking on the door
17-year-old Mebude is perhaps the more likely of the two. He’s very highly rated at Ibrox, signing a contract extension in January which keeps him at the club until 2021.
The pacey forward starred for Graeme Murty’s league-winning Reserves team all season, and earned youth international honours.
Meanwhile, Young-Coombes has been a revelation since signing from Chelsea. He scored freely as the U17s became the first British club to win the Alkass Cup in Qatar, while he netted the Youth Cup final winner against Celtic at Hampden.
At just 16, it would be a big ask. However, we know he’s had discussions with the manager since his arrival [Evening Times], and he loves a big occasion.
Hopefully, there’ll be a chance in the closing stages for at least one of these exciting teenage talents, come Sunday.