A Wasted Year
The manner in which our team clinched the Third Division Championship was just so typical of this craziest of all seasons.
Having given up on the awaydays some time ago, I settled for watching the Montrose game on the box then headed for the pub for a wee matinee session. Predictably, much of the time was spent moaning about the dross served up at Links Park then, out of the blue, news of Queens Park's defeat flashed up on the TV screen and the Rangers team we had been slagging off were suddenly crowned champions.
What an anti-climax. I really felt for all those Bears who have follow-followed everywhere and anywhere this season, they've backed the team brilliantly, even when having to endure some really grim performances. Instead of getting the chance of a proper sing-song to mark our title win, they were stuck on their buses or trains or cars, hearing of our success from a faceless third party, denied the opportunity to do what real fans do best when their team wins a trophy.
I only hope the Berwick game sees us bring the curtain down on the season with a performance worthy of the occasion and a title party each and every one of us can remember with a big smile on our face.
Unfortunately, for me, this has been a very frustrating season, one in which I'd hoped to see us start to rebuild from the bottom up, with new foundations put in place as our club plotted an exciting future, with fresh young talent emerging and sound forward planning being implemented as we begin our step-by-step journey back to the top.
At various points during the season McKay, Macleod, Aird, Hutton, Naismith, Crawford and Hegarty have caught the eye but there has been an element of rolling the dice and seeing what comes up, rather than an orderly, calculated plan for the development of our young prospects. And having been so disappointed by the contributions from Black, Kyle, Sandaza and Shiels, our player recruitment strategy (if one exists) really worries me.
While each and every Rangers fan rightly expects our team to be lifting the Second Division Championship trophy a year from now, there will be a lesser margin for error as we move through the leagues so the erratic stuff we have suffered of late has to be sorted out. I see no sign of a dramatic improvement on the cards and fear the plod-on-regardless confusion of the past year will be the way of things for the foreseeable future.
After all, with the very ownership of our club again up in the air, it looks like nobody is prepared to take responsibility for the development of any football strategy at Rangers, to protect, promote and project the long-term planning for the future of our club. Make no mistake about it, if the football isn't right, even the most astute business plan is doomed to fail.
So I'll cheer as loud as any Bear when we lift our trophy on Saturday but, one year on from our worst nightmare, I worry that the Rangers are merely marking time, no further forward in our hopes of seeing a bigger and better club emerge from the chaos of the past eighteen months.
If I'm writing a similar piece a year from now, our great club will be sleepwalking into more trouble.