Rangers Academy chief Craig Mulholland thinks the number of young Gers representing their national teams “shows you where” the Light Blues’ youth programme is at – but insists the Ibrox giants need to find a way to get the promising youngsters into the first-team.

The Gers Academy has 30 players involved with their national sides this summer at various levels and Mulholland is pleased to have so many players being rewarded by their countries.

Despite this, Mulholland insists the Gers need to push the players on and challenge for a place in Steven Gerrard’s first-team and join Academy graduate Ross McCrorie in the starting XI.

“Until we produce more players for the first team, one of the benchmarks we have is how many quality players can we have within the Academy, and that is now being recognised by the national associations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Malta – various countries that the lads play in,” Mulholland told Rangers’ official website.

“To have 30, but importantly, it used to be the younger age groups before it would drop off in the older age groups, and we had seven Rangers players at the under-19 European Championships where they beat Holland 2-0.

“It shows you where we are now at, and we must now take these talents and make sure they get the opportunity to go to the first team.”

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Football Insider verdict:

Having so many players away with their countries can only bode well for the Gers in the future as they look to bring players through to the first-team. With some already playing senior international games – like Myles Beerman – it is a great opportunity for them to continue their development and gain new experiences. For some of the players, it will also have been a chance to impress new manager Steven Gerrard, after the Liverpool icon was spotted at the Toulon Tournament. If the Gers can get more of them challenging for a first-team spot then there are more than a few who stand a really good chance. Players like Glenn Middleton, Liam Burt and Jamie Barjonas aren’t likely to be too far away while there are a host of others desperate to impress. Mulholland and his staff deserve huge credit for the way they have turned the Gers Academy around in recent years.

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