From Gerardo Flores:
I recently had the privilege of visiting Murray Park, the famous training ground of Rangers FC. The facility is gated but once through you are greeted by acres of pristine natural grass fields along with an artificial turf field. The main building contains a five star restaurant, weight and calisthenic rooms, a laundry room, classrooms and youth academy office space along with a large indoor playing facility. Both the senior and junior teams train at Murray Park. I was looked after by Greg Statt, who is the overseas development officer at Rangers, and a Youth Academy Head Coach. During my visit I was able to meet both coaches and players, enjoy lunch in the club house, tour the facility and watch training sessions from ages U14, U17, U20 and the 1st team.
Reflection and admiration for the Rangers coaching staff filled my mind on the drive back to Edinburgh that afternoon. All I could think about was the professionalism from each team and staff member and could we, possibly, replicate that kind of player confidence and ability in our little club in South Alabama. I understand we can’t transfer everything they do at the Rangers Academy to the USA. They live in a very different world than we do, but these trips help us see what we CAN transfer and take what we can use and apply it to our clubs. When we travel and study other soccer cultures we do the players and members of our own clubs a significant service and having a vision and plan for the future and for player, team, coach and club development is where it all starts. Thanks to the staff and players of Glasgow Rangers Football Club for a truly unforgettable visit.