Rangers academy chief discusses the impact Liam Burt, Jack Thomson and Scott Roberts' inclusion in first-team squad has on club's youngsters

The trio were all included in the Gers' squad for their Scottish Cup tie with Dundee on Saturday.

Rangers' academy chief Craig Mulholland has outlined to the club's official website the positive impact that Mark Warburton's inclusion of some of the youngsters coming through at Ibrox is having on the team's academy.

Liam Burt made his debut during the latter stages of the Gers' 2-0 victory over Raith in the Scottish Championship last Tuesday, while the 17-year-old was joined on the bench by Jack Thomson and Scott Roberts for the Light Blues' Scottish Cup clash with Dundee on Saturday. 

And while none of the trio were needed as Warburton's men romped to a 4-0 win over the top flight side, Mulholland explained that their presence in the matchday squad sends an important message to those hoping to make the grade at the club.

"Liam made his debut on the Tuesday night against Raith Rovers, and when he came into the Academy on the Wednesday, all of the young players were absolutely buzzing, and the staff were the same," he told the club's official website.

"Many of the staff are working 60, 70 and 80 hour weeks, but it makes it worthwhile when you see that happening.

"For the young players, to have that aspirational bit and that pathway to the first team, despite being a massive football club, that pathway is fairly unique, and it is credit to the manager, David and Frank McParland that they are allowing them to do that."

The trio's inclusion in the squad will surely motivate the other players in the development sides to do everything they can to follow in their footsteps, which thus, may benefit the standard of player that is coming through as the youngsters battle to prove themselves worthy of first-team opportunities.

And it appears that Warburton will have plenty of chances to give some of the other starlets coming through some game-time before the season is over. 

With nine league games to go, Rangers appear to be in complete control of the division and know that a few more wins will seal their promotion to the Scottish Premiership. And if they can go into the last few games of the campaign knowing that they are mathematically out of sight, Warburton may be tempted to give a few more of the youngsters their first-team bow. 

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