Rangers head coach Jordan Boyd is hopeful his side can stake their claim to being the best team in Scotland when they take on Hibs in this Saturday’s SWF U15 Youth Cup Final at Oriam:
“I’ve been telling this squad they are the best team in the country for about three years now,” he told YFS. “[Before the final] I’ll be telling them that this is their opportunity to prove it.”
They’ve already defeated a string of top teams to make it to this stage; impressive victories over Aberdeen, Hamilton, Central Girls, and Glasgow City were all topped by a fantastic 3-2 victory over rivals Celtic in the semi-final.
So, if they can overcome Hibs, you’d be hard-pressed to argue with Boyd’s belief in his side:
“We couldn’t have got a much more difficult run of games to the final,” he said. “We have had to overcome three of the top four Performance League teams and an Aberdeen side who would not have looked out of place in the later rounds of the competition.
“As a team, I don’t think we’ve played our best football in the cup, but a highlight for me has been watching the girls discover one of the most important attributes for when you play for this club: to play for Rangers you must find a way to win.”
In particular, Boyd credits the victory over Celtic in the semi-final to his sides attitude and desire.
He said: “It was a great game of football.
“The character the girls showed was the most pleasing part for me – despite having a mass of injuries and unavailable players we were able to get a result on the day.
“I’ve worked with them for a long time now and it’s been great to see them develop both as football players and young people.”
The only team standing between Rangers and Scottish Cup glory is a Hibs side competing at the top end of the National Performance League, and Boyd has no doubt it will be another stern test for his team.
He said: “I’ve watched Hibs a few times now, I think they play a really good style of football; they keep the ball well and have players in forward areas that can be a threat.
“We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against a strong Hibs side and are confident that if we manage our emotions and play to the levels we’re capable of then we can win the game.”
As has become tradition on SWF Youth Cup Final Day, the crowds will be there in numbers and the atmosphere will be electric – and the Rangers support will be no different.
“I reckon we’re going to have a big turnout,” Boyd said. “I think some of the parents are potentially more excited than the girls, and the younger age groups will be out in force.
“It’s a great experience for the girls to get to play in front of bigger crowds and on these sort of occasions sometimes a big support can get you over the line.”