BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 23:46 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Gers coach fears talent drought

Gers youth boss reveals concerns

By Alasdair Lamont

The man in charge of Rangers' youth academy says it is becoming increasingly difficult to find and develop high-quality young players.

That is despite the recent emergence of John Fleck and Danny Wilson, and the greater reliance on home-grown talent at the financially-strapped club.

While others are tipped to step up to the first team, Jimmy Sinclair says producing players is becoming tougher.

And he told BBC Scotland clubs across the country faced similar problems.

"Currently in Scotland we have a far more sedentary population than we've ever had among young people and that mitigates against an athletic type of boy coming through the door in the first place," he said.

"That's not to say they don't exist - they clearly do and other clubs have demonstrated that also, but the pool is getting smaller and the task is getting harder - of that I'm sure. That's not just a personal view, I'm sure that would be regarded across the board in Scottish football."

Rangers defender Danny Wilson
Teenager Danny Wilson has impressed in the Rangers first team this season

That situation is not ideal for a club who are operating under a much tighter budget than in previous years, with the youth set-up likely to be required to provide more players capable of making the step up to first team level.

But Sinclair says that set of circumstances does not make his job more onerous.

"I don't necessarily feel an extra pressure. Even if we had eight in the first team, we'd still be desperately keen to keep that number up or to increase it," added Sinclair.

"Our job is not to decide whether the kids are ready to go into the first team - that will always be the case with any manager of any first team. What we do is come in here every day and the kids work to the best of their ability in the hope they can do enough to impress the manager and get into the first team."

One of the players hoping to follow in the footsteps of Wilson and Fleck is Jamie Ness, who has been involved with the first team squad for most of this season.


He admits he and his peers have been helped to an extent by the club's well-documented financial difficulties.

"I think that's helped Danny and Flecky get into the first team, but we've got a lot of top-quality young boys at the club as well, so even if they did have money to spend, there'd still be good players coming through."

Rangers manager Walter Smith, who agreed with Sinclair's argument regarding the drop in available young players, says those who have made it into his team are there on merit.

"People are inclined to believe they're only getting a game because of (the financial problems). They're not. They're good enough players," said Smith.

"You've got to look at the two of them (Fleck and Wilson) and say their performances have deserved inclusion in the team and they would have probably had that inclusion regardless of circumstances."

Smith spoke, too, of his high hopes for Jamie Ness, who would perhaps have made his senior debut already but for injury.

From Rangers' point of view, they must keep producing players capable of making the transition from youth teams to first-team level.

Print Sponsor

see also
SFA to sound out Gers boss Smith
04 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Smith plays down Ibrox exit talk
03 Dec 09 |  Rangers

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.