Rangers Under-21s v Newcastle Under-21s

Last updated : 17 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Although Rangers have a regular Under-21 team, our side will be a mixture of reserves and Under-19 players.

Whatever the result it will prove a useful test for the likes of Michael Chopra, Steven Taylor and Bradley Orr, as the Gers line-up will include a number of players with first team experience.

"The game was arranged because of the winter break in Scotland," said Tommy Craig.

"Rangers supporters have been missing their football and it gives them a chance to see the young talent at both clubs.

"The players will be from the same age group and it will be a very worthwhile game. I'm looking forward to it and I know the players are as well."

Rangers Under-21 manager John McGregor is equally enthusiatic, commenting: "I've spoken to Tommy Craig about the match and he thinks it will be a great experience for his players, as well.

"As far as I am aware, they play their matches at the ground of a lower league team and we do the same with Dumbarton.

"I'm certainly not knocking the facilities my lads play in because the ground down there is a tidy wee stadium and we're more than happy to play our home matches there.

"I think this is a great opportunity to introduce some of them to playing at Ibrox.

"Seven or eight years ago, nearly all the reserves games were played at Ibrox and even up to a few years ago, when we moved to our new training base, the lads changed there.

"So hopefully the chance to play there will inspire them.

"It's also a chance for them to get used to playing in front of a bigger crowd than they are used to, although it will be nothing like what it is to play in front of 50,000 fans.

"All the game is about is testing ourselves against one of the top teams down in England at our home stadium and to give the fans a chance to come along and enjoy a game of football.

Rangers academy is currently producing a string of players who many in Scotland believe will take the national team back to their previous heights.

Although the likes of Maurice Ross, Bob Malcolm and Stephen Hughes won’t be playing tomorrow several fringe first teamers will be, including Alan Hutton, Paul Dow and Steven McLean.

If you’re up in Scotland and don’t have a ticket for the Man City game it might be worth paying the £5 entrance fee at Ibrox to see some of the star of the future.