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THE Rangers Academy has entered into an exciting new partnership with world-renowned Coerver Coaching which will see it become a Coerver partner club. Coerver coaching is used by many top football clubs including Bayern Munich and Benfica and was created by legendary Dutch footballer Weil Coerver. It focuses on the development of individual skill and small group play, with the ultimate aim to create confident and creative players that value winning but not more than character and performance. The partnership will see Director of Coerver Coaching in Scotland Gordon Craig work with Rangers Children’s Academy where he will deliver sessions on a weekly basis as well as contributing to coach education and curriculum design in the Academy. Craig spoke to RangersTV to explain the partnership and began by telling us: “I’ve been working with Coerver for over 25 years now, so it’s been my life’s work almost. I’ve known Craig Mulholland for a number of years and we have been talking for some time now about the work we do and what I’ve done over the years. “I’ve seen such an array of talented young players come through that programme, so it excites me, and I’ve always been about developing creative, strong, aggressive, technically great two-footed players, so when Craig approached me to speak about the Academy and Rangers, it excited me to come in here to work with the programme that’s in place to hopefully develop a curriculum for eight to 12 year olds. “That’s a kind of ‘golden age’ of youngster, and it’s vital we get them at that early age and do the right type of work – one v ones, ball mastery and first touch. “That’s what I do, and over the years I’ve coached a lot of coaches around the world and have seen and been at a lot of clubs with Coerver, and bringing it now to a club like this in Scotland is fantastic, and we aim to create that type of player.” The change in philosophy at Rangers has been felt from top to bottom, and Craig can see similarities between the Ibrox side and Portuguese giants Benfica, where he has worked in the past. He continued: “Rangers are a huge club, just like Benfica, and seeing the players out there and the creative, attacking style of football they play, it’s the same concept I see here at Rangers from the top down. “It’s exciting for me to see the club going in that direction to create an offensive, aggressive type of player who can attack and cause problems for the opposition, and that’s what I’m all about. “The game is always evolving and always changing, but the timing for me is perfect. I was at the game on Saturday and I enjoyed it – some of the players I saw there offensively I can see an eight to 12 year-old trying to replicate.” Head of Rangers Academy Craig Mulholland added: “When we took over the Academy in January, one of the things we wanted to focus on was creating a technical, creative player. “Someone who would be strong in one v ones and would have a trick and a move, and we think the Coerver coaching method gives us a real chance to do that. “Gordon Craig is the director of Coerver Coaching in Scotland, and him and I have been in dialogue for some time, and he is now going to come in and work in our Childrens’ Academy, predominantly in the 8-12 year-old age group, and he will work specifically with the players and we will also have a coach education aspect to the whole academy which will benefit all the players. “If you look at Scottish Football just now, there aren’t many players who get the fans right on the edge of their seat like Nathan has done since he has come to the club. “What we want to do is produce more players in the Academy like that who can then fit in to a Rangers style of play and have the behaviours and characteristics that we want in a Rangers player profile. “There are some great clubs around the world involved with Coerver. Gordon works closely with Benfica, and Bayern Munich are another club who use their methods. “For Rangers to be a partner club is great, and we too will help Coerver achieve some of their aims in Scotland as well as at Rangers we have a fantastic curriculum. “Jim McNee is head of our Children’s Academy and does a great job, so hopefully we can share some of our expertise with Gordon, and it will be a win-win both ways.”
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