By Graeme Hanna

23rd May, 2023 | 9:10am

Rangers rising star Bailey Rice ready for impact 'any time now'

Rangers youngster Bailey Rice believes he is good enough to get on the pitch for the first team, following his first-team debut in February, as featured in the Rangers Review.

At the tender age of just 16, Rice shows maturity in his game on the pitch as well as in his approach to the challenge that lies ahead at Ibrox, as evidenced by his measured words.

There are high hopes for the Scotland Under-17 captain who is striving for more first-team exposure under Beale in the new season.

In a very interesting interview, Rice clearly understands what is required from an academy player to make the step up at Rangers and he is backing himself to succeed.

“They give us an opportunity, so we need to take it,” he said.

“There’s no point hiding in training as a young boy or not speaking in your wee shell.

“You need to bring out your personality and show what you can do, you might only get one chance.

“I’ve been on the bench against St Mirren and Aberdeen and I’ve been thinking I’m good enough to get on the pitch any time now.”

Best of the bunch

In and around the first-team squad at present, there is Alex Lowry, Adam Devine, and Zak Lovelace.

All three of those players have a definite ability to give them a chance to make it but there is something about Rice in the way that he carries himself with an assured self-confidence that shines in how he plays, as well as in his leadership qualities, beyond his years.

During the recent Glasgow Cup final for the B team, he was the one cajoling his teammates during the fraught penalty shoot-out that Celtic went on to win.

Time is on the side of Rice, who won’t be rushed but at the same time, you can’t wait forever for a youth prospect to come good on their potential. They will often, either take their chance and blossom if they are good enough or else falter via several unsuccessful loans.

Not 17 until October, he is quite possibly the best of the bunch at Auchenhowie just now, ready and primed to show exactly what he can do.

In other Rangers news, this Scottish journalist believes that an emerging Ibrox star would be in the Premier League if not for one thing.