Ibrox youth coach Graeme Murty has heaped praise on midfielder Stephen Kelly after an effective performance for Rangers U19s this week away to Hamburg.
Murty’s men destroyed their German counterparts 5-0, thanks to a hat-trick from Andy Dallas and goals from Cammy Palmer and Serge Atakayi.
One player that particularly impressed outside of the goalscorers was Stephen Kelly, who has recently spent time training with Steven Gerrard’s first-team.
Murty couldn’t shower him with enough praise in the wake of the victory.
Speaking to the official Rangers website, he said:
You can see he has that touch, that subtlety and he can play at a first-team pace with the ball – he deals with the ball really well and some of his link-up play, particularly for Cameron Palmer’s goal was great as it encapsulates the kind of build-up play we want to do and the areas we want to get into.
We created a wonderful goal from that. We are happy with lots of different players, not just Stevie, and I think they are all benefiting from training with the first team.
Every single player who played yesterday has had a time round with the first team.
They [the players] see the ultimate goal is to go and play for the first team, and not have this game being the highlight of their careers.
It’s definitely exciting to hear that the 18-year-old, who has youth international caps with Scotland, is making major progress.
That’s especially true given he appears to be on the fringes of Gerrard’s squad, making his senior debut for the club recently at home to Ayr United in the League Cup.
The Ibrox boss is clearly not afraid to give youngsters their chance in the first-team if their hard work deserves it and Kelly appears to be leading the way for Murty’s group of potential stars.
Signing up to a new three-year deal last month, there’s plenty of time for Kelly to make his mark.