THE environment and the ambitions remain the same for Gregory Vignal. The level, and the game, is somewhat different, though.

Vignal is no stranger to striving for success every day with Rangers. But it is not part of a first team squad, nor as coach of a youth side, that he will look to make his mark now.

The Frenchman has been appointed as boss of the Light Blues’ Women’s side as the Ibrox board invest in a new structure and put more emphasis on the Women’s game. It is a challenge the former Gers defender is relishing.

Vignal said: “I would like to thank the club, the chairman, the board, Mark Allen, Craig Mulholland and Amy (McDonald) for this incredible opportunity. I am really pleased, really proud, to be Head Coach and I am looking forward to the new job.

“The challenge [attracted me]. I think it is a big challenge. I know where we are right now, I know the expectation of the club. It is a big one and I am ready for this.

“I hope [to bring] success. When you are managing, when you are playing for Glasgow Rangers Football Club, there is a big expectation. So I hope I can bring professionalism and success.

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“I think it will be different but I hope [that experience] will help me but coaching the men or the boys is completely different, so we will see.

“But, of course, playing for a big club and coaching at the Academy for the last two years, I hope that will help me a lot.”

Rangers announced earlier this month that the Women’s team and youth setup would become integrated with the football department at the Hummel Training Centre as part of a significant investment in the game.

All matches will be played at the Light Blues’ Auchenhowie base, while former boss McDonald has moved up to oversee the system as Rangers seek further improvement on and off the park in the coming years.

Vignal said: “I think it is an exciting time and the Women’s team and the Academy have become fully integrated into the football department, and that is really, really good.

“It is an exciting time for everyone at the football club.

“That [offering women professional contracts] is massive and the next step. It is fantastic for the full club and will bring quality and professional players, full-time players, and that is so important right now.

“It is so important for the project, so I am really pleased with this. I think the board made a big commitment with us and that is something that is really important if you want to improve the first team.

 

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“So far [it is going] really well and there is really good commitment, great desire and they are working really hard. I am really pleased with the girls right now, really happy.

“I think from now until November, the next four or five months are really important for us and for the club.

“We know where we are and I want to use the next four or five months to increase everything, so that is really important in terms of staff, squad, medical department, sports science, everything. It is important for us to see what is going on for the next four months.

“I am really pleased [to be based at the Hummel Training Centre] and I think this is fantastic for the football club. It is fantastic for the first team, for the Academy, for the fans, for the families and for the girls because watching the first team is so good.

“The environment is much better right now. I think we have 220 seats so it is a big improvement for the club and for the team as well.”

Director of Football Allen spoke of his pride at the move from Rangers and the appointment of former youth coach Vignal is a signal of the Light Blues’ intentions going forward.

The Women’s game has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks as a result of Scotland’s participation at their first World Cup.

And Vignal knows the standards and demands that apply to the Gers first team and Academy outfits must now be in place across the Hummel Training Centre as he embarks on the next stage of his coaching career.

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Vignal told RangersTV: “I think it is the perfect time and the World Cup in France has been successful. I watched a lot of games and I was surprised with the quality and the expectation. So I think it is the right time. Women’s football is changing, so it is the perfect time to take a job and look forward.

“I see the club playing Champions League level and winning the league and cups would be fantastic.

“This is what I hope for the football club and we want to be the best team in the country, we want to have the best Academy in the country, we want international players.

“This club is an institution and when we are talking about DNA, Rangers Football Club is a winning club. It is the best club in the country and we have to win titles. Coaching or playing, you must be ready when you are at this football club because the expectation is very high.

“You must be ready mentally and everyone is ready, so I hope for the best for this football club and a lot of success for Women’s football.”