Robbie Crawford, Morton
Morton is seeking Rangers’ permission to thrust Crawford into action for their Petrofac Training Cup quarter-final match on Saturday. Morton play Alloa Athletic & manager Jim Duffy wants the four month trial to commence as soon as possible.
Jonathan Mitchell of The Greenock Telegraph explains, “The terms of the loan includes a provision that the 21-year-old would not be available to play in the Petrofac Cup in order to prevent him from being cup-tied upon his return to Rangers in January.”
Duffy is holding out hope that he can convince Ally McCoist to change his mind. “At this moment in time, we haven’t got permission from Rangers to play Robbie against Alloa. When we signed him, Rangers’ conditions were that they didn’t want him playing in the Petrofac Cup.”
“If Rangers get there, the final is next April. Robbie’s loan runs until January and, technically speaking, he could potentially be back in their squad but unavailable for that.”
“They might need him come next year, which I can understand. If the boy does well on loan with us and goes back to Rangers, they might think: ‘Well, we want him in the team.'”
“And at the end of the day, he is a Rangers player and we agreed to take him under those conditions. We’re not moaning about it and don’t have an issue with it. But I’ll have a chat with Ally about it. We’ll wait and see, but at this moment in time — as I speak — he’s not available for tomorrow.”
While it appears that Crawford’s debut will have to wait, his Rangers teammate & Greenock native Ryan Sinnamon, is backing Crawford to be a hit with Morton & their supporters.
After featuring in Scotland’s U19 draw with the Czech Republic, in an Greenock homecoming at Cappielow Park – Sinnamon talked to The Greenock Telegraph.
“Most of my family were at the game and some of my old boys’ club coaches from First Touch [Football Coaching] were here. It was great to have them here supporting me.”
“I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for First Touch and the work they put in with me since I was five. Every session we did was excellent. It was very technical, all ball work and teaching you how to play. I think it set me up well for becoming a professional with Rangers. Robbie Crawford also came through First Touch and signed for Rangers. I know him well. He’s just joined Morton on loan and I think that’s a good move for him.”
“He wasn’t really featuring as much as he would like to feature, so hopefully he can come here [to Morton] and get game time and come back to Rangers a better player.”
“It will be handy for him being local and to be able to play in front of his home crowd. I hope he does well – and I think he will. He’s a very technical player. If he’s playing week in, week out, he can only get better. That’s all he needs, game time. I think he’ll do well.”
If Crawford does not get to feature tomorrow’s match against Alloa, he will likely make his Morton debut on September 13th Luca Gasparotto & Airdrie.
Update: Ally McCoist agreed to let Crawford play against Alloa – meaning he will be cup tied to Morton.
Calum Gallagher, Cowdenbeath
Gallagher will also be slated to make his debut on September 13th, as Cowdenbeath visit Hibernian. Former Rangers defender & current Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl has high hopes for Gallagher’s stint with the club.
Nicholl told The Herald, “It was Calum’s attitude that I really liked after speaking to him. I know he can do a job for us because his attitude is spot on.”
Luca Gasparotto, Airdrie
Luca Gasparotto’s arrival on loan is both a timely and welcome one. Airdrie have struggled defensively so far this season – although a clean sheet was kept in the draw with Stirling Albion last Saturday.
Manager Gary Bollan’s preferred pairing in central defence was David Proctor (a right-back to trade) and Marc Fitzpatrick (usually happier at left-back or the left-hand side of midfield).
It’s perhaps not a surprise that it hasn’t really worked out. A lack of pace has been exploited by opponents. The back four as a unit also appears to have height and strength issues.
Ben Richards-Everton, a strapping English centre-back, looks the part having arrived from Partick Thistle on loan. He is good in the air and strong. Diamonds fans will be hoping that Gasparotto offers similar attributes.
The other loanees will all look to make their debuts next weekend. Danny Stoney & Stranraer will play Ayr United in League One action. Tom Walsh will looking to feature for Stenhousemuir against Dunfermline Athletic on the road.
Barrie McKay will have to delay his debut as Raith Rovers actually play Rangers next weekend. McKay will be eligible to play for Raith the following week as they take on Livingston.