Rangers Academy midfielder Findlay Curtis was thrilled to sign a new contract with the Light Blues recently and is now fully focussed on his step up to the B Team next season.

The young Scot began his association with Rangers when he was just 6-years-old after impressing at a club Soccer School and he has progressed through the ranks ever since, working with a host of talented coaches at the training ground.

Findlay began his career as a striker but has now settled into a central midfield role although he still has an eye for goal and was delighted to score a crucial penalty in the Scottish Youth Cup semi-final win over Dundee Utd.

He was on the spot again in the final at Hampden as Steven Smith and Jonatan Johansson’s under-18 side beat Aberdeen 2-1 to clinch the trophy and he has already enjoyed a taste of training with Philippe Clement’s first-team squad.

Findlay has watched fellow Academy players Ross McCausland, Cole McKinnon and Robbie Fraser feature for Rangers in season 2023/24 and he dreams of following in their footsteps one day.

In a wide-ranging interview as he showed his support for The Rangers Youth Development Company – who have provided more than £11 million to the Academy since 2002 – Curtis, who celebrated his 18th birthday recently, recalled his Academy journey so far.

He said: “I used to go to the Rangers Soccer Schools and I was quite scared at first but my brother went with me and I met Kieran Reilly, one of the community coaches, who gave me a shot so I have been with the club since the age of 6.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be at Rangers for about 12 years now and it’s great to see players like Ross McCausland, Cole McKinnon and Robbie Fraser getting their chance.

“Hopefully I can follow in their footsteps so I’ll just keep working as hard as I can and hopefully an opportunity can open up for me.

“I’ve learned so much from a lot of great coaches since I joined. Kieran Reilly gave me my chance and was very helpful and I’ve worked with so many great people like Greg Statt, John Lawson, Drew Todd, Stephen Wright, Todd Lumsden, Stevie Smith, JJ, Malky Thomson and David McCallum.

“It’s great to learn from so many different people. Stevie and JJ played a lot of games for Rangers and it’s always good to learn from former players every day in training.

“It’s good for my development.

“I started as a striker but last year Stevie and Cameron Campbell gave me a chance at left wing against St Mirren then the next week I played in central midfield against Celtic and it was one of the best games I played.

“So I kept playing in that position for the full year and I enjoyed it. I feel comfortable and really enjoy playing in midfield.

“You can do so much more there and are involved all the time so I can play as a 10 or an 8 and I enjoy those positions.

“I also signed a new contract recently and it was great to get that extension, now I am looking forward to developing even more at Rangers. That’s my main focus and I want to learn as much as I can.

“I’ll be with the B Team next year and I want to keep learning and developing my football with them.

“It’s a big season for me and I hope to impress with the B Team and hopefully earn the chance to train with the first-team.

“I’ve trained with the first-team twice so far and they were a great experiences. One was match prep but the other was a full session and I loved it. 

“I was nervous at first but once you get your first touch of the ball you are ready to go.

“Brian Gilmour was our youth coach at the start of the year so it was great to work with him again with the first-team. 

“Brian was a midfielder too so he gave me lots of good advice and the manager just told me to go out and enjoy it. After the session he told me I had done well and that gave me a lot of confidence.

“When I told my mum and dad that they were buzzing for me. 

“Once you get a taste for it, you want to push on and get more. I thought I did very well so hopefully I can catch the manager’s eye again in the future.

“The manager has given players like Ross McCausland, Cole McKinnon and Robbie Fraser a chance to play and he gives a lot of Academy boys the chance to train with the first-team.

“So I will work as hard as I can to earn more sessions.

“It is a pleasure to come in and work every day at the training ground, the facilities are brilliant and I will keep trying as hard as I can to improve.

“I love every single minute of it here and next season I will push as much as I can, do the right things on and off the pitch and focus on developing my game.

“Hopefully that can take me round to the first-team side again.

“You have to push for a chance in the first-team and to make my debut one day would be unbelievable.

“I had a good season with the 18s and winning the Scottish Youth Cup at Hampden was a good experience. 

“Winning a cup final is something you hope for at the start of a season and scoring a goal was very good for me so it was an enjoyable night.

“That was my second final and I was definitely a lot calmer and more confident.

“It was great to have a lot of Rangers fans at the game and I had family and friends watching me so it was a great experience.

“They like seeing me play so they were proud of me and it was great to get a goal.

“It was just a brilliant experience and they were buzzing for me.

“My family and friends are massive Rangers fan so it was great to beat Aberdeen in the final.

“Going 1-0 down was very tough but we got a penalty and I was so happy to score it.

“I scored one in the semi-final against Dundee Utd as well but it was fantastic to get an important goal in a big game at Hampden.

“I’m always confident with penalties and I practice them each day.

“I enjoyed getting the trophy and the pictures on the pitch, it was a great night but I’m already looking forward to the new season.

“I’m ready for the challenge and I want to come back flying in pre-season and get some good games under my belt.”

Findlay’s development was assisted by annual RYDC donations to the Rangers Academy and more than £11 million has already been provided.

Profit from RYDC products Rangers Lotto, Stadium Bricks and The Union Jackpot draw all go to the Academy, while profit from Museum Lotto is donated to the club for the upkeep and maintenance of the new museum.

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