There are many commodities - whether it be players, money or even luck - that any manager or coach requires. All Ceri Bowley wanted and needed was time.

That asset is always in short supply at Rangers but every circumstance and fate is unique. As a result, Bowley's tenure as first team coach was measured in months rather than years, defined by failures rather than successes.

The Welshman was the final addition to Giovanni van Bronckhorst's coaching staff when he arrived at Ibrox in August. Come November, he was heading for the exit door as Van Bronckhorst paid the price for Rangers' European and domestic troubles and was sacked just a year after his appointment that promised so much more.

It delivered a Europa League final and Scottish Cup, of course. But the lasting, lingering feeling from Bowley is one of regret, of what might have been, as the man who devised the ‘City Football Methodology’ blueprint reflected on the nuances of life at Ibrox.

"It took a lot longer than what it should have because it was on the cards right from the off and when Gio first arrived," Bowley told Herald and Times Sport as he explained his reasons behind leaving the City empire to work alongside a man he had long admired and become close to on and off the park. "It had been in the making since then and there were so many different delays.

"It becomes a challenge then because you arrive after the season started and that was never the plan. The plan was to get in as soon as possible last season, not this season.

"For one reason or another, it delayed it. But it is what it is. Rangers is a proper institution, a proper football club and you don’t get many opportunities like that. I had others at the time, one or two that are very close to me as well and close to my heart."

Bowley did not have the association with Rangers that Van Bronckhorst had from the early days of his illustrious playing career but he knew what he was walking into at Ibrox. His football upbringing had been shaped by two Scottish lads, both diehard Rangers fans, that lived in the streets close by in Brecon and a certain midfielder that was a hero to many like him.

"I am not Scottish, clearly, but you are always aware, growing up in the UK, of the size of Rangers Football Club," Bowley said. "It wasn’t new to me. I knew it. I grew up watching a lot of the games and a lot of players.

"Gazza was my hero when I was a kid, I was a Spurs fan growing up, so you follow his career and where he ended up and he was obviously a big talent at Rangers."

The relationship with Van Bronckhorst was key to the move and it was never sold or signed on the premise of a short-term fix. Bowley was invested, he was 'all in' as he was tasked with implementing a style of coaching and playing at Auchenhowie that would pay dividends at Ibrox, calling on his experiences with Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City to lay foundations for a long, prosperous future.

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The usual time for such a process to take root is around six to eight months and his model of working at City encompassed coaching, sport science, performance analysis and talent identification and recruitment. The statements confirming Bowley's appointment and Van Bronckhorst's departure were separated by just 102 days.

"From the outset, the remit was around the methodology in terms of there wasn’t a methodology at Rangers, they never had one, and that was something I did a lot of at City," Bowley said. "Around all our clubs, we had a way of playing and understood what that way of playing was and educating various departments around what it takes to play that way.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst during a training session at the Rangers Training Centre

"Naturally, when you want a style of play, there are so many things. The way that sports science and medicine works is really important, in terms of the way that you recover players, train players, develop players, all of that stuff.

"Recruitment is essential, you have to sign players that can play the way you want to play and they have to be able to do the things physically and technically that you need them to do."

The focus at The Etihad was on managing the ball in tight areas, finding ways to unlock the low block. The levels may have been different, but there are similarities in the challenges faced a couple of hours up the road in Glasgow.

Discussions with Van Bronckhorst and Ross Wilson, the sporting director, focused on the pitch and office time required to make the necessary changes. As Bowley describes it, you don't jump in the car for the first time and go and pass your driving test.

Bowley has enough conviction in his working to be confident that Rangers were on the right road but the journey was never smooth as a relentless schedule and an injury situation that fluctuated between detrimental and destructive took its toll.

Days usually set aside for rest and recovery had to become preparation sessions as the lines between Matchday +2 and Matchday -1 were blurred. At times, Rangers would only have a handful of players on the training pitch in between Champions League and domestic fixtures and the condensed schedule left Van Bronckhorst and his staff chasing their tails as they attempted to morph Rangers from a Steven Gerrard side into one which fitted their new Identikit under the Dutchman.

"It takes so much time," Bowley said as he reflected on the 'dips' that he had seen City Group teams suffer before going on to be successful in their respective leagues. "I am not saying they played bad football, they didn’t by any stretch, under Steven before us, but it wasn’t the same style that you get from a coaching team that worked at clubs with possession dominant philosophies.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

"Neither way is right or wrong but they are different and you have to appreciate that when hiring managers. So it was always going to take time and when you know you don’t have a consistent platform to work from, then it is going to take even longer because you have to get your ideas across with the coaching team and staff across the club to then start to impact the players."

Rangers hadn't become a bad team overnight and the same could be said for Van Bronckhorst as a manager. Yet the highs of the run to Seville, the heroics at Hampden and that night in Eindhoven counted for little in the end as the momentum shifted and snowballed at an alarming rate.

The final weeks of Van Bronckhorst's reign saw the most damage inflicted domestically but European results turned the tide as heavy defeats were suffered in the Group A fixtures with Liverpool, Napoli and Ajax. Once the slide starts, it is almost impossible to halt, never mind reverse.

The hours invested in analysis meetings with players and staff, the afternoons and evenings that Bowley spent watching every youth side from Under-10s to the B Team, became enveloped under the same cloud. At Rangers, results are the only thing that are seen and that matter to many.

"Selfishly, I have had an opportunity that most don’t get so I can only be grateful for that," Bowley said. "The chance to go and work at a club that is an institution like Rangers, not many people are afforded that opportunity. I am really grateful for that.

"I know it didn’t end up being a memorable campaign, but there are very few that get to be involved with a management team at the pinnacle of club football. From a selfish perspective, those experiences were unbelievable.

"The outcomes weren’t, though, and they hurt a lot as we were going through it and they still do now. That is what it is and there is not an awful lot that could have been done massively differently because we ended up in a competition with tier one Champions League clubs.

"You look at every other group and you would have fancied us to get results against some of them. We ended up with three top, top teams.

"It was tough and it took a lot out of everybody. That whole campaign took a lot out of everybody physically, mentally, emotionally, everything."

Those Group A fixtures saw Bowley thrown in at the deep end. Rangers was his maiden venture into a first team coaching position and it allowed him to better understand and empathise with managers and just what they have to deal with and go through.

Questions and criticisms over recruitment strategies and club policies were for others higher up the structure to answer and be held accountable for but it all fed into the one malaise as supporters became increasingly frustrated with every aspect of Rangers.

"Very few get to be at a club where expectations are as high as they are at Rangers," Bowley said. "I mean that with all the respect in the world. You are expected to beat everybody, and so be it, because of the club it has been traditionally and historically.

"Having to do it with that pressure and scrutiny and the constant churn of opinions, appraisals, that teaches you a lot about yourself and about others in and around you.

"It was invaluable in that way in terms of the experiences. I signed up for it to be a lot longer than what it ended up being and that will always be my biggest regret."

The Champions League became a rod that Van Bronckhorst inadvertently made for his own back. Domestically, the issues were also self-inflicted and the points squandered at St Johnstone and St Mirren intensified the spotlight as Rangers, outplayed at Parkhead earlier in the term, fell adrift of their Old Firm rivals.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst

It was a new experience for Bowley. The story of the Van Bronckhorst era is unique and there is no one reason for events ultimately playing out in the manner that they did as nights against Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig faded into the mists of time.

"When you are in those positions, the challenge is that the quality of your work doesn’t necessarily relate to what you get out of it," Bowley said. "That is the first time in my career that has happened because everywhere else – at City, at the FA – the quality of work keeps you in the building and gets you to where you deserve to be.

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"That is not always the case in first team management where your destiny is always in the hands of other people. I knew that going into it so I am not using it as an excuse and it is not ‘let’s feel sorry for him’. That is what it is, not just Rangers but everywhere and when you go into those environments you know your destiny is in other people’s hands.

"The guys that go onto the pitch, when they cross that white line the result is in their hands and there's minimal effect that a coach can have at that point.

"Other people above us make the ultimate decision on what they see and what they want. I took loads from the experience, it was really invaluable. It is a great club."

Bowley sent messages of good luck to the new management team on their appointment last month and returns were received. The past cannot be changed and Bowley wishes Rangers nothing but success in the future.

He would never get the chance to savour a derby at Ibrox or take to the dugout at Hampden, as Michael Beale and his staff did last Sunday as Rangers booked their place in the Viaplay Cup final. Twitter well wishes were posted before the Old Firm and Aberdeen fixture as Bowley, like he did as a child, watches Rangers from afar.

"I saw Mick at the Aberdeen game [in October]," Bowley said. "I had seen him in passing a few times in the football world but that was the first time I had got introduced to him was the Aberdeen game.

"It is what it is. These things happen. There is always going to be one happy and one not happy in these situations. I hope they go on and win trophies and that the club is successful. That is what I am and that is what the club is for me."

Life at Rangers is a tough school. The learning experience has been difficult for Bowley, but it has not scarred him and a consultancy role with the Elite Clubs National League in the United States is one of a handful of roles that he is now focusing his attentions on.

Time at home over Christmas with his family, including a new baby, could be cherished but the passing of his father-in-law was a reminder that there are more important things in life than football.

"I will work with them on a consultancy," Bowley, who holds a PhD in Sport Psychology and Coaching Science, said of his position with the American league, which was established in 2009. "I have got a couple of other things across Europe that are consultancy based and we will wait and see.

READ MORE: The story of Michael Beale's Rangers arrival on eve of Ibrox return

“The plan always was to be a Technical Director or Sporting Director, that was the route I was going down at City. I took a diversion by going to Rangers and trying something different but it was always with a view to, longer term, becoming a Sporting Director.

"Now is a time to reflect on all the experiences, learn again and see where it takes me. That is the plan at the minute."

Bowley admits he has never been one for sitting around waiting for the phone to ring and the aftermath of leaving Rangers was a new experience for a coach that has also worked with Barry Town ad Merthyr Town in his homeland. A period of rejuvenation was not required but one of introspection is never a bad thing.

"There are always moments you reflect on," Bowley said. "But it is first team football and sometimes you can’t make sense of everything because decisions are made by others that you can't control. It was other people that had those conversations. It is what it is and you move on."

Bowley now has time on his schedule that he hoped he wouldn't. However long it lasts, he will put it to good use once again.