Graeme Murty delivers verdict on Rangers and Celtic proposals
Rangers manager Graeme Murty insists Scotland will “continue to fail” at international level if the SPFL clubs reject plans to introduce Colt teams into the league from next season.
Rangers and Celtic could field Under-21 sides in League Two if the ambitious proposal is given the go-ahead by the 42 member clubs.
Scotland has long struggled to effectively manage promising youth players and turn them into talented professionals and both halves of the Old Firm believe introducing Colt sides would close the gap between the youth and senior international sides.
Murty insists there are a wide range of benefits to the introduction of Colt teams – but admits he can “fully understand” the reticence from some clubs to back the proposal.
“I firmly believe if we continue to do the same thing in this country as we have always done, we will continue to fail at international level, we will continue to fail our young players, we will continue to fail to give them the best possible opportunity of playing at the highest level,” Murty said, as quoted by The Scotsman.
“If we do that, then you are going to have a lost generation of players that compete at 16s, 17s and 19s but then don’t compete on the international stage after that. If we want to continue to do that as a nation, continue on the same path. But we shouldn’t fear trying to be different, to try and change something and give it a go because our players will benefit, the league will benefit, attendance will benefit and the nation will benefit.
“I fully understand that people want us to respect the integrity of the league and their football club. Everyone wants to safeguard their club, I fully understand that. What we are trying to do is make sure we have an environment that can develop not only this generation but generations to come of elite footballers because we have not done it.”
Murty first arrived at Ibrox to take up the role of Under-20’s head coach and worked closely with Gers’ Academy head Craig Mulholland as the Ibrox giants look to find new ways of improving youth development at their Auchenhowie training base.
The Gers manager is well-regarded as a youth coach after stints with Norwich City and Southampton before moving north and has first-hand experience of where Scottish football is going wrong.
Instead of taking part in the SPFL’s Under-20s’s Development League this season, the Gers’ second-string have embarked on a year-long campaign of friendlies against elite youth sides from across the UK and continental Europe including Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
In other Rangers news, these English high-flyers have approached for an international attacker after the Gers tabled a bid.
We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Rangers breaking news.