Last season Glasgow Rangers midfield youngster Stephen Kelly was placed under the direction of ex-Ger Ian McCall while on loan at Ayr United.
It couldn’t have gone any better for either club, as the 19-year-old Kelly went on to win the young player of the year award with his temporary employers.
The Ibrox rising star was still a teenager when completing his very enjoyable 36-match stay at Ayr, which earnedthe Rangers man an ever-present starting place and his accolade.
He has since turned 20, and the fans witnessed his progress and talent flourishing with regular first-team games.
Young Kelly scored six goals and supplied many assists, as the Rangers youngster swiftly became the midfield maestro of Somerset Park.
The Gers fans now understand why manager McCall wanted him at Ayr and Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard will surely have been impressed by the reports coming back to Glasgow.
How will the Rangers manager handle the enormous pressure put on the club this all-important title winning season – to stop 10-in-a-row?
Celtic are obvious favourites to win the league, due to their unfair run of years with no challenge from a relegated Rangers side.
That sorry situation made it too easy for the ‘Hoops’ to bring in lucrative Champions League money, without any real competition.
Add that to their successful use of the transfer market by buying bargain basement quality players and selling them on to the highest bidders.
Kelly’s Rangers contract is due to expire in 2021, and that makes the next 12 months a make or break time for his Ibrox future.
Rangers have Hagi, Davis, Kamara, Jack, Aribo, Arfield, McCrorie, Docherty, Polster and Barjonas to try and fit in to three or four places..
Hopefully Kelly will go out on loan again, but this time to a top-flight bottom six club, to see if he can make the grade with them.
If he plays enough games the contract will extend a year, and if he doesn’t shine, he will probably be released by Rangers at the end of his current 2021 contract.
In the Championship with Ayr, Kelly was a success and his confidence grew as the “Honest Men’ competed with Dundee United and Inverness Caley near the top of the league.
The Gers faithful have been reacting to news of his Ayr accolade, and they are delighted that Kelly’s ability has finally been recognised.
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