On Wednesday evening, Serge Atakayi’s late goal secured an impressive 1-0 win for Rangers Colts over Ballymena United.
The result has since been somewhat tarnished by spitting allegations against Eros Grezda, which emerged on Thursday [Scottish Sun].
However, the importance of the 20-year-old’s strike shouldn’t be understated.
His composed finish following Jamie Barjonas’ long ball, earned Graeme Murty’s side a spot in the Fourth Round of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup and a trip to English club, Solihull Moors.
📽️VIDEO | Highlights from last night's game in Ballymena are now available on @RangersTV.
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) September 19, 2019
Individually, it will do his confidence the world of good.
This is a player who made his first-team debut last November and was told before heading to Finland on loan, that he formed part of Steven Gerrard’s plans [Daily Record].
The reality for Atakayi, since returning, has been an injury, a missed pre-season and substitute appearances for the Development teams.
It was as a substitute that he made the difference at the Ballymena Showgrounds and you’ve got to think he’ll be in from the start against Solihull.
Rangers winger Atakayi’s goal should serve as confidence boost
His long-term aim, though, will be to take the manager up on his promise and return to the first-team fold.
That’s still some way away yet. However, we recently spoke of how, with the odds against him, the only way he could come to Gerrard’s attention was through grafting and showing quality further down the club.
With that in mind, Wednesday’s contribution was a fantastic start. Whether in the next round of the Challenge Cup or in the revamped Glasgow Cup, he must continue to build and take the chances afforded to him.
Doing so will leave the gaffer with no choice but to consider drafting him in once more.