Rangers ace David Bates narrowly missed out on a place in Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad and the defender’s emergence should see him held up as a poster boy for how far hard work can take a footballer.
Bates joined the Gers on a development loan in August 2016 before penning a permanent deal the following January and has forced his way into being a mainstay in the Light Blues’ starting XI.
When Bates joined the Gers there were few who would have expected the former Raith Rovers youngster to have forced his way into the side – never mind having done enough to be on the brink of international honours.
After watching Bates regularly last season in the Under-20’s, the Kirkcaldy-born defender looked to be third-choice in the Gers’ youth side but has put the hours in to defy expectations and has even been keeping Euro 2016 winner Bruno Alves in the starting XI under Graeme Murty.
This time a few years ago, Bates was on loan at the likes of East Stirling and hoping to force his way into Championship strugglers Raith Rovers’ starting XI and now finds himself on the fringes of the Scotland squad and one of the first names on the teamsheet at Ibrox.
While he’ll never find his way onto a list of the most talented defender, Bates has shown just how far hard work and commitment to improving can take a player – and deserves every bit of credit that comes his way.
In other Rangers news, Gers reported injury blow comes at worst possible time for 21-year-old.