Kelly, Maxwell, Kennedy and Dickson: How Rangers Benefit From FBCL Loan System

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James Maxwell scored a goal in a Scottish Cup third round match between Queen of the South and Hibernian at Palmerston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Ross County boss John Hughes recently got lyrical about midfielder Stephen Kelly, while Ciaran Dickson and James Maxwell showed up well for the Queen of the South Loan Club against visitors this post -midday in Ibrox, Hibs, during the Scottish Cup televised last Monday.

Maxwell even found the net against Jack Ross’s team and Gerrard thinks the exposure is a big plus for those who aren’t quite ready for his first team.

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“The experience of having playing time on the pitch is invaluable for their personal development,” he explained. “We have a very strong relationship across the country that we’ve loaned players to and they’ve done a fantastic job.

Kai Kennedy in action for Raith Rovers – he had previously been loaned to Inverness for the first half of the SPFL Championship campaign. (Photo by Bruce White / SNS Group)

“We believe that when the players are sent they always represent us as a club, so it is important to maintain a dialogue, we are always in contact with the players but we are grateful to the teams who take our players and who them give play time for their own personal development.

“Our loan officer discusses this regularly in meetings and which ones were successful and which weren’t – it’s something we are very diligent about.

“But we demand that these players go out there and represent this club in the best possible way.”

Kai Kennedy is another who has drawn attention to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Raith Rovers this season and Josh McPake is making strides at Harrogate with the aim of making the same impression when he returns to Rangers this summer.

With limited team spots for practice and games, there’s a balance to be struck between exhibiting elsewhere and keeping the kids closer to home.

Gerrard added: “We normally work between 23 and 25 depending on how many youngsters we keep, but we are always looking for two quality players in each position and an additional goalie in case of injury.

“But we also try to bring so many young people from the Academy around the first team from a training point of view and to come to the games, just for the experience and to get them used to the environment of the first. team.”

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