CIARAN DICKSON made the most of his chance to impress as he helped Rangers to Youth Cup success against Celtic at Hampden.

Now the midfielder hopes he can follow in the footsteps of his inspiration at Ibrox and make his way into Steven Gerrard’s first team plans.

The Light Blues boss was in attendance as Dickson and his Under-18s team-mates beat their Old Firm rivals to lift the silverware last month.

His early strike was the first of three goals the Gers would score as they edged out their Lennoxtown peers at the National Stadium.

And the 16-year-old is determined to ensure there will be many more memorable moments to come.

“I look up to Ross McCrorie,” Dickson said. “He has come through the Academy here and he plays in my position in the first team so he is someone to look at.


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“He has completed the journey that we all want to complete and got to the level that we all want to get to.

“I am pushing myself every day to try and get round with the first team. Ross speaks to us a lot and when he is down at the Reserve games he is always trying to help us and give us advice to make us better.

“It is a great opportunity and whenever we get it we need to take it. We need to improve every day.

“I want to get to the highest levels I can and be tested there. The manager is someone for us all to look up to and he is a real role model for me.

“I aspire to do as well as I can and impress him and it is always special when you hear the manager speak.

“He has spoken to us all in groups and the advice that he gives us is second to none. The first thing he told us when he came in was that if you were good enough then you will play, so that shows that there are opportunities there for us all.

“There is definitely a pathway at Rangers for all the lads to move through. The 18s get pushed into the Reserves and the boys get to work with the first team squad so there are chances there for us.”


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It could be a couple of years yet before Dickson gets the chance to achieve what McCrorie has and become an integral part of Gerrard’s first team pool.

He has done his reputation no harm in recent weeks, however, as the Under-18s followed up their Youth Cup triumph with a win over Hearts that secured the league title.

Dickson already had a taste of being an Old Firm hero after scoring at Firhill last term but his strike and performance last month was even more significant for the Gers kid.

Dickson said: “It was a great night for all of us and all the preparation we put into it paid off.

“To come out on top against your rivals was a great feeling. It was special for me to get the goal.

“I got one in the Glasgow Cup final last year and it is a great feeling that I can’t really describe. It was on a big stage, there was a crowd there and it was on the TV so it was a big night for us, and to win it against your rivals made it all the better.

“It was great to get the opportunity to play in front of the gaffer and the coaching staff and show them what we can do as individuals and as a team. The manager didn’t come in, he just left us all to it.


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“That can make us more humble and we have an edge to get round with the first team. Some of the players were in after the game and congratulated us.

“There were a lot of first team players there to support us and make us humble. They know what it is all about and they want to help the younger lads get better.

“At a club like Rangers, there are high expectations from the staff and the supporters that we need to fulfil.”

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