THIS is set to be a season like no other and further proof of that arrived inside Ibrox not long after the conclusion of Rangers' first ever home match in the third division.

The fall from grace of this once proud, establishment club and their subsequent rebirth in the bottom tier of Scottish football is a story that has reverberated all across the world and so on Saturday we were treated to the rather surreal sight of a reporter from Canal +, the respected French broadcaster, interviewing players from East Stirlingshire, officially the worst senior team in the country last season. Goodness only knows how that one will be received in the living rooms of Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

They were not the only international broadcasters present. Another foreign party used the last question of McCoist's post-match briefing to ask whether the Rangers manager might find the whole business of his charges trying to slog their way through the lower leagues a bit boring. McCoist, who has approached the new season with a sense of enthusiasm and anticipation matched only by a child on Christmas Eve, cheerily rebutted the suggestion and responded that he was very much looking forward to facing the challenges ahead.

The questioner had a point, however. Rangers may find it tough occasionally on the road this season, as was the case at Peterhead on opening day, but there is every chance that home matches against part-time teams will turn into the turkey shoot that Saturday eventually became. East Stirlingshire started strongly, and even had the temerity to take the lead through Paul Quinn's penalty, but Rangers' greater fitness and quality became more influential the longer the match wore on. They stopped at five – Andy Little got a hat trick while Fran Sandaza and Lee McCulloch also registered – but could have easily racked up double digits as East Stirlingshire bodies ached and legs tired.

The Rangers support, crammed into Ibrox in a show of both support and defiance, lapped it all up, even applauding their vanquished opponents as they dragged their weary limbs off the field at full-time. Whether the novelty will eventually wear off, though, is another matter. Rangers, of course, can only beat what is put in front of them, but supporters crave excitement and glamour as well as success and when winter descends and Stirling Albion or Elgin City are next on the fixture list then perhaps there will be some who elect for an afternoon in the pub or on the sofa rather than trudging out to see their team of internationalists running all over the top of another plucky but limited third division side.

For now, though, the Rangers support could barely be happier. They have accepted their fate in the third division and seem determined to show up the rest of Scottish football; there were more inside Ibrox on Saturday than at every other senior game combined across the four divisions.

There has also been a noticeable thawing in the Rangers support's relationship with owner Charles Green, fast becoming the PT Barnum of Scottish football. Green turned on the charm again on Saturday, working his way through the stands, posing for pictures and pressing the flesh. He then took to the microphone to praise the fans for their backing at "the start of the journey" and was roared to the rafters. A degree of wariness and scepticism remains about the Yorkshireman's motives and the identity of his financial backers, but as long as he keeps saying the right things and giving McCoist sufficient funds for players – Emilson, the Brazilian defender, made his debut on Saturday – then it seems few are going to grumble too loudly.

For all the star names involved it was an unheralded youngster that stole the show. Barrie McKay, still just 17, was summoned from the bench midway through the first half to replace the injured Dean Shiels and put in a dazzling display. His future involvement may depend on how many more players McCoist is able to bring in before the start of a year-long transfer embargo but on this evidence he is worthy of a regular place in the side.

"I'm happy with my own performance and I thought I handled everything the way I was supposed to," he said. "Before the match the manager just said that if I got the chance to go on, to show what I could do. The more I get on the ball, the more I enjoy it. The manager's making a lot of signings but hopefully I can stay involved with the squad."