PROMISING teenage footballer Jordan Gibson has expressed his delight after signing a new contract with Glasgow Rangers which will keep him at the club’s academy for a further year.
The Bartley Green youngster and former Bromsgrove Sporting player made the ‘dream’ move to the Scottish giants last summer to embark on a career in professional football and announced today he had signed a contract extension.
Gibson previously suffered setbacks at West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and a full-time contract did not look like going the youngster’s way.
However, the 18-year-old did not give up and after impressing coaches at Rangers, he was quickly snapped up.
A year later, despite an injury-hit season, Gibson will remain at the academy for a further year where he hopes to push into the first team.
Rangers announced only yesterday that eight of their academy players will be departing the club in the summer but Gibson was one of the lucky few to get the opportunity of a contract extension.
“The contract extension just shows how far I have come as a player over the last 12 months,” he said.
“I’ve got a lot more to prove and I hope that I’ll have a good pre-season and hopefully push for as place in the first team.
“I had to show a lot of maturity to join the club, especially by moving out, but it’s been amazing so far and the club treat me well.
“It would mean everything to me to play for the first team as it’s always been a dream to play at that level of football.”
Sporting’s Andy Parr was over the moon to hear the news Gibson had signed a contract extension.
“It’s brilliant news for the lad, I am really pleased for him,” he said.
“He was struggling with an injury when he moved to Rangers but to see they have kept him on is fantastic news.
“He was a class act for the youth team and as an attacking midfielder he scored some crucial goals for us.
“I hope he manages to push on and achieve a first team place at Rangers – that would be brilliant.
“Gibson has got a lot of potential and hopefully he will be a huge success.”
Gibson isn’t the only Sporting player to make the move on a professional career in football, Ethan Hanks has recently made the move to the International Academy linked to (but legally separate from) League One Chesterfield.
With a variety of up and coming talent at Sporting’s youth setup, Gibson believes there’s no reason those youngsters can’t follow the same pathway as he and Hanks have.
“I have played with Lewis Kemp, Dean Fisher and Ryan Pierpoint for a few years now and there’s no reason why they can’t follow the same path.” he said.
“Last season I played with some of Scotland’s best youngsters at Rangers who all play for the national team and being around them has improved me as a player.
“Liam Burt for example is only 17 and made his debut not long ago and I hope to progress as well as he has recently and be the next one to break in to that environment.
“The main aim is to just stay injury free and keep developing.
“Rangers is the most successful club in Scotland and to be a part of that is an achievement in itself.”