Giovanni van Bronckhorst could not have dreamt up a better start to life in Glasgow after two wins from two as Rangers manager.
In the short-term, the Dutchman’s focus may solely be on working with the current first-team squad and picking up results and momentum in all competitions. However, a long-term goal may be to make use of the academy and bring quality players through the youth set-up.
One academy player who could be unearthed during Gio’s reign is young forward Tony Weston. The attacker could end up being the new Kemar Roofe at Ibrox, if he is given an opportunity to show what he is capable of.
Weston joined the club from English side Blackpool in the summer of 2020 and has been thriving for the reserve team this season. In six cup matches, he has produced an impressive four goals – averaging a strike every 98 minutes on the pitch
He has also scored 15 goals in the Lowland League, with Rangers B having won 14 of their 19 matches in the competition. This shows that he is a lethal goalscorer for the club’s youth/reserve sides, with 19 goals in a maximum of 25 games to date.
In terms of the forward’s attitude, his former Blackpool manager Simon Grayson previously hailed his ‘pure enthusiasm’ for the game, saying:
“He’s got so much enthusiasm. The lads were watching what he was doing, where his pure enthusiasm and love of being a professional footballer is at the front of his mind.
“He’s got 30-year-old lads behind him in the warm-up and I’ve never known a 16- year-old lead with stuff like that.
“He’s got confidence in his ability and it’s great for him.”
This suggests that he has the mentality to go along with his apparent talent as a footballer. Therefore, he could have a great chance to make the step up to the first-team level at Ibrox, as he has the ability and desire to continue progressing through the ranks.
By offering him a chance in the senior squad, Gio could potentially unearth the new Roofe – who is a current English goalscorer in the team. The ex-Leeds man has registered an excellent 27 strikes in 54 competitive outings for the Gers and his fellow countryman’s record at youth level suggests he has the potential to hit those heights in the future.