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Joining Rangers from Glentoran is a boyhood dream come true, says teenager Mason Munn

Scottish Premiership


Mason Munn has left Glentoran and joined Rangers

Mason Munn has left Glentoran and joined Rangers

Mason Munn has left Glentoran and joined Rangers

Young goalkeeper Mason Munn says he’s living his boyhood dream after agreeing a three-year professional deal with Rangers.

The Donaghadee shot-stopper savoured a little taste of the full-time environment at Glentoran and now he’s been handed a golden opportunity at the Scottish Premiership giants which he intends to grasp with both hands.

Munn (16), the son of Abbey Villa legend Jon, can’t wait to go to work at Ibrox and deliver for the club he supported as a boy.

“I can’t wait to get started, get in the building and get pre-season under way,” he beamed. “I’m a boyhood Rangers fan.”

Dad Jon played for and captained the Amateur League side before going on to become a successful coach.

“My dad was a goalkeeper and I can remember watching him and wanting to follow in his footsteps,” said Munn. “Abbey Villa have been my home club and I moved up to Ridgeway before the Glens came in.

“Gary Hillis was my manager at Ridgeway. I didn’t feature in the Glens’ first team but I’ve been around training and Elliott Morris was very good that way in bringing me in.

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“There’s a good pathway at Glentoran, I started in the 16s in the first season, won the Super Cup and then Declan Lynch came in and I stepped up to the 18s for a season. I then joined the 20s last season and trained with the first team.

“The players are training every day and working with the full-time professionals has helped prepare me for going across the water and that intense environment.”

The professional game in England and Scotland is a huge attraction to promising young footballers but there is an added layer of glitter to clubs like Rangers or Celtic which have huge support in Northern Ireland.

“Phil Cowan, a Rangers scout in Northern Ireland, got in contact about two years ago and got me over on trial. I loved it and although other clubs were interested, they are very nice people at Rangers and of course there’s such a strong connection with Northern Ireland,” said Munn.

“I’ve had several trials and played in many games.

“Family members support Rangers and they have a huge fan base here so I’m very excited.

“It’s a big step up but I’m up for the challenge and will hopefully settle in well into the full-time environment.

“I always wanted to play at a higher level and move through the age groups. As soon as I went up I had to get used to the pace and shooting.

“I’ve seen a few Rangers players walking around the training ground and it gives you an extra buzz to know you are in that environment. It gave me added motivation to know that if I worked hard and got my head down I could be there one day.”

Munn is one of the Irish FA JD Academy graduates whose career prospects have been enhanced by the right advice and coaching.

He added: “The Academy has been a big help and being picked for the Victory Shield squad was important. You feel like a professional and young international. As you move through the clubs the demands increase but there are opportunities for young players. More clubs are looking at Irish League players, realising the young talent we have here.

“I’ll be linking up with the U18s in my first season and I’ll try to be a regular first-choice keeper. I can hopefully push into the ‘B’ team and if I keep impressing you never know, the goal is to make the first-team squad.

“At international level, I’ve been with the ClubNI set-up and we are moving into the Nordic Cup with Gerard Lyttle the manager.”

Munn is following in the footsteps of 18-year-old Charlie Lindsay, who left the Glens for Rangers, and with the Gers’ ‘B’ team at the BetMcLean Oval for a friendly on July 10, the young keeper could be making a swift return.

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