Who is Cammy Palmer? That’s a question more than a few Rangers fans would’ve been asking themselves yesterday.
As well as hinting at the team for tonight, Gary McAllister mentioned that opportunities have arose for young players to join the first-team squad this week. He earmarked Palmer and other youngster Jack Thomson as two of those young starlets who could join up.
It’s always great for supporters to hear about young talent making their mark at Ibrox, especially when the youngsters have come through the Hummel Training Centre.
Yet, many will still be asking who on earth these talented starlets are. So, today we’ll be profiling them both and giving you five facts you may not know about the newest members of the Rangers first-team squad.
Starting with Palmer and continuing later on today with Thomson, here’s five facts about the youngster:
He was born in Toronto
Yep. He has as Scottish a first name as you could ask for, but young Cammy Palmer isn’t a Scot at all.
He was raised in Canada before moving to Scotland at a relatively young age. Growing up in Toronto, it’s a surprise football was still his addiction given how small the game is over in that part of the world.
After arriving in Scotland he’s found his way to Rangers, and it’s now down to him to make his mark at Ibrox.
He’s represented both Scotland and Northern Ireland
It’s not quite clear where Palmer’s international allegiances lie, but he’s represented both Scotland and Northern Ireland at youth level.
The midfielder interestingly hasn’t done for Canada despite being born there. Most recently, Palmer has been plying his trade with the Northern Irish. Whether this is down to the grandparent rule we’re unaware, but it appears he’s made his mind up. He most recently represented the Northern Ireland under-19s.
If Scotland want to make sure they nab him, they need to get in touch soon. Palmer is making a strong name for himself with the Northern Irish, and is developing his international experience nicely.
Given that Northern Ireland are extremely likely to give youngsters a chance, this could be a great decision by Palmer to stay there. Michael O’Neill consistently freshens his side up, and if he keeps developing, the sky is the limit.
He only just signed a new contract
There’s no immediate concerns of Palmer doing a Bily Gilmour anytime soon. After all, he’s only just signed a new two-and-a-half year contract.
This was a priority of Mark Allen’s as he tried to secure the club’s best young talent. Palmer fit into that category and was offered a new contract back in March.
The club announced the deal through Twitter, and he’s now tied to the club until the end of 2020. That would take the 18-year-old to beyond his 21st birthday. By that stage, hopefully we’ll have seen a lot more of him in the first team.
Rangers will want to avoid the likes of Palmer leaving the club so easily as they get into key stages of their development. Gilmour should remain a big regret for everyone at the club, and tying their best young talent down is a good move.
He’s only in his second year with the under-20s
In terms of his experiences with the under-20s, the midfielder is still just a baby.
He joined Graeme Murty’s side back when he was just 17, which is extremely young for an under-20s player. Beforehand, Palmer was developing his game with the under-17s.
He also gave an interesting insight into just how differently the under-17s operate to the under-20s just last year:
“It’s very different to being with the under-17s because Graeme has different ways of playing and doing things.
“Last year was more about getting games under your belt trying to improve as a player, whereas this season it’s about improving tactically as a player as there’s a lot more tactics this year.
“There’s been work on different positions that you need to be in and the different types of movements that you need to be doing.”
Having his tactical development improved at such a young age is a great positive. When many young players make the step up to the first-team, they can always struggle with the tactical side of things.
That shouldn’t be the case with Palmer in the next few years. At the moment, he’s still learning his trade with the under-20s, so Rangers fans shouldn’t expect too much against Ayr. In the long-term, however, his time learning about the tactical side of the game will only be beneficial.
He scored in the Walter XI vs Ally XI match
A charity contest between Walter Smith and Ally McCoist’s Rangers sides was a fine afternoon for all. Palmer, however, had more reason to celebrate than most.
The match saw a host of legends and celebrities strut their stuff in a match Ally’s XI won 8-3. Interestingly, four development prospects were also given a place in the match – Palmer was one of them.
The Gers youngster went one better and actually notched a goal. Being in the right place at the right time to pick up on a fumble by the goalkeeper, Palmer calmly knocked one into the net.
This came just days after he had signed a new contract. The likes of he, Andy Dallas, Stephen Kelly, and Jack Thomson all got a run-out.