Rangers head of academy goalkeeping Graeme Smith believes that youngsters at the club know if they perform then they will get an opportunity in the first team and have been inspired by the progress of their peers. 

The Glasgow giants are working hard to develop youngsters to push into Steven Gerrard's first team squad.  


Gerrard has taken youngsters on pre-season and winter camp trips since he took charge at Ibrox to take a close up look at the talents, handing debuts to starlets that impress him.

Academy coach Smith feels the progress that some youngsters have made has shown others that the pathway is there, with Gerrard keen to hand out chances.

"The gaffer has been quite open since before he came in the building that he gets frustrated with talent because it can be so many more things", Smith told the Evening Times.

"You can be talented as a footballer yes, but you can also be talented as a person and it is those skills and characteristics that we are trying to instil in the players.

"Talent might get you on the ladder at an academy level but ultimately it is about who you are as a person and how dedicated and obsessed you are that is going to determine whether you have a good and lengthy career.

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"It is trying to find that balance, but all the guys have been quite spurred on by the likes of Dapo Mebude, Nathan Young-Coombes and Kai Kennedy getting their debuts last year and obviously we have had Josh McPake and Ross McCrorie who have gone into first team training and done well.

"They see their peers going up into the first team changing room on a regular basis and the manager has set the marker.

"If you are good enough, if you are talented enough and you are showing the right desire you will get an opportunity and it is up to the player to take that opportunity", he added.

Winger Kennedy turned out in the Scottish Cup against Stranraer earlier this year, while Mebude's debut came in the Scottish Premiership at Kilmarnock at the end of last season.