Rangers’ academy chief Craig Mulholland has admitted that the Gers are pushing to have a B team playing senior football as part of the “pathway” to the Ibrox first-team.
Recent changes to the structure of youth football in Scotland will see the Under-20s scrapped in favour of a reserve side and Mulholland revealed that the Light Blues are “working on” it but aren’t “quite there yet.”
Mulholland has long been in favour of clubs being allowed to field second-string sides lower in the league system and believes it is an important part of getting the transition from academy to first-team right.
“It’s been an interesting debate this one because we have been working hard and we believe that B teams are really important parts of our pathway,” Mulholland said, as quoted by the Gers’ official website.
“So we’ve seen our teams this year and you’ve seen the results. The 17s and 19s go and beat Europe’s top players and be every bit as competent as them technically and tactically, but we must make sure we get the transition to the first team bit right.
“So in an ideal world we would have a B team where we were exposing our players to real men’s football, 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon with Rangers supporters coming to watch them, but we’ve not quite got there with that yet. That’s still something politically that we are working on in the background.”
Football Insider verdict:
B teams are an idea that should have been adopted a long time ago in Scottish football and hopefully, the Gers can finally get it over the line. Allowing young players to play regular competitive football is a massive part of their development and B teams are a system that has been a massive success around the planet. With interest in the Old Firm at a long-time high, fans will no doubt want to see the next crop of stars as they make their first steps in the game. While there is much opposition to the idea, mainly from fans of smaller teams, the interests of the wider game should be put first. If it helps young players fulfil their potential and improve the general standards then it is something that everyone should be getting behind. It might even stop the best Scottish youngsters from heading to England at getting lost in the shuffle in academies down south.
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