Thursday 10 September 2015

Blue Heaven - Where are they now?

Blue Heaven was a BBC Scotland series broadcast in 2003 which span for six episodes each lasting 30 minutes. The series followed the youth set up at Rangers from the reserves to the under-13's. The six episodes covered two seasons 2001/02 & 2002/03. The first in the Dick Advocaat era with Jan Derks in charge of the youth set up. Then the Alex McLeish era George Adams taking over from Jan Derks. We take a look back at some of the young players that were featured;

Chris Burke
Chris Burke made over 100 appearances for Rangers and scored 14 times. He was the main youngster to make the break through to the Rangers first team at the time of filming blue heaven. He left Rangers for Cardiff in 2009 after failing to get first team football. He is currently at Championship side Nottingham Forest and also runs clothing label Seven One Zero with Gavin Rae & Curtis Davies.

Charlie Adam made 87 appearances for Rangers and scored 18 times and was voted Rangers' young player of the year in 2007. He left Rangers for Blackpool in 2009 and after two successful years there, moved to Liverpool for £6.75m. Charlie is currently at Premiership side Stoke City where he has played over 100 games.

Callum Reidford
Callum Reidford was a young goal keeper who trained with Stefan Klos and Allan McGregor. He never made a first team appearance for Rangers and left in 2008 for Dunfermline. Last season he was playing for League Two side Stirling Albion where they were relegated to League One.

Darryl Duffy is at his 12th club after leaving Rangers in 2004 with his best spells being at Falkirk and Bristol City. He is now playing in the Indian Super League for FC Goa (on-loan from Salgaocar). FC Goa are currently managed by Brazilian legend Zico and also have Lucio as their marquee player.

Jordan McMillan was a youth captain at various age levels and was a big prospect for Rangers. He made three first team appearance for the Gers. He left Rangers in 2012 for Dunfermline but was released after only one season. He then moved on to Partick Thistle and has been there for the past two seasons. In March 2015 he was sacked by Thistle after failing a random drugs test in December 2014.

Steven Lennon
Steven Lennon left Rangers in 2010 after making three first team appearances. After being let go by Rangers he joined Irish side Dundalk but left for Newport County only 6 months later. He has since been playing in the Icelandic league and is currently at FH.

Peter Leven sustained a serious knee injury at Rangers and never made a first team appearance. He left in 2004 for Kilmarnock and played for a number of League one sides in England. He has just signed as assistant coach at Kilmarnock.

Chris Craig was only 12 during filming and showed a lot of promise - a very gifted player. Chris left Rangers in 2009 and signed with Dumbarton for one season and then Alloa in 2010. He has played for junior sides Drumchapel, Kilbirnie and is currently at Petershill.

Brian Gilmour
Brian Gilmour was at Rangers up until he was 20 and left in 2007. He had spells at Clyde and Stenhousemuir and even played in Iceland for FC Haka and KA. He is currently playing for Scottish League One side Ayr United.

Scott Agnew left Rangers in 2006 and signed for Hamilton Accies. Scott has played for many lower league sides in Scotland. He is currently at St Mirren where he joined Ian Murray who was his manager at previous club Dumbarton.

Jan Derks came to Rangers with Dick Advocaat and was the head of youth football. He left Rangers in 2001 and went on to be a coach for the dutch football federation (KNVB). He was sent to coach in Bulgaria by the KNVB and was a youth coach at Levski Sofia and Litex Lovec. In 2009 he was brough to Galatasaray as a youth coach by Frank Rijkaard and Johan Neeskens. In 2011 he joined South African side Mamelodi Sundowns as assistant manager with Johan Neeskens as manager but the pair only lasted one season.