Rangers legend John Brown hunts for new Ibrox heroes in Northern Ireland
Rangers legend John Brown wants to find some young gems in Northern Ireland who can shine at Ibrox in the future. Club Ambassador Brown, a key figure when the Glasgow giants won nine league titles in a row from 1989, was speaking as he launched the Rangers Soccer Schools Centres in Northern Ireland.
The Ibrox club will integrate their renowned Player Development Programme in hubs across the country including Belfast, Antrim, Larne, Newtownards and Portadown with the hope of extending to other parts of the province.
The aim is to not only inspire boys and girls to play football at grassroots level but also find potential new Rangers heroes.
Brown knows how much Rangers means to the club's Northern Ireland-based supporters and is keen to maintain and enhance those links.
He said: "Northern Ireland is a great catchment area for us and setting up these soccer schools is fantastic. Hopefully we can pick up a few gems who could maybe go on and play for Rangers and Northern Ireland.
"We have a great history with players like Kyle Lafferty, David Healy and Steven Davis who as a 12-year-old was playing for our youth teams before he went to Aston Villa."
Gary Gibson, Rangers Soccer Schools Manager added: "It is almost like a pathway we are creating. From a Football Centre you can go to the Elite Centre and then from the Elite Centre you can head into the Academy. We want to see young kids who have been through the system come through into the first team squad."