Stephen Kelly is a name Rangers fans weren’t too familiar with up until around a month ago.
Now, the name seems to be cropping up everywhere. The young midfielder is widely touted as the next to make the breakthrough after Glenn Middleton. He made his Rangers debut in the 4-0 win v Ayr.
The 18-year-old’s primary role still centres around the development squad but U20s manager Graeme Murty thinks his exposure to the first team is having a great impact.
In fact, he thinks all of the boys who’ve had that chance to play with the First Team have come on leaps and bounds recently. This showed in recent 5-0 and 2-1 wins against Hamburg’s youth team and Greenock Morton respectively.
Murty spoke to Rangers about the improvement from Kelly after the Hamburg match:
“He definitely has done. You can see he has that touch, that subtlety and he can play at a first-team pace with the ball – he deals with the ball really well and some of his link-up play, particularly for Cameron Palmer’s goal was great as it encapsulates the kind of build-up play we want to do and the areas we want to get into.
“We created a wonderful goal from that. We are happy with lots of different players, not just Stevie, and I think they are all benefiting from training with the first team.
“Every single player who played yesterday has had a time round with the first team.”
Gerrard certainly thinks a lot of the youngster
Kelly is certainly highly thought of at Ibrox. The youngster signed a three-year contract recently and has been promoted to the first team. When this happened Gerrard introduced him to the first team squad and jokingly asked him for a song. The youngster cheekily denied the Gaffer’s offer. Watch it below.
Steven Gerrard picking out youngster Stephen Kelly after he signed a new three-year contract yesterday. Rangers manager having a laugh about the midfielder giving the first team squad a song.. 👏 (via @RangersFC) pic.twitter.com/dn1dLWBKLW
— talkingbaws.com (@talkingbaws) September 14, 2018
Gerrard has his arm around him and clearly sees a bright future for him. There’s a lot of young academy prospects coming through and it really is exciting for the fans. Let’s hope Stephen Kelly can make the step up this season.