Robby McCrorie, 19, has only played a small amount of first-team matches but already his stock is rising with the goalkeeper excelling at League Two level with Berwick Rangers. The on-loan shot-stopper has his sights set on joining his brother Ross in the Ibrox senior squad’s dressing-room, but not just yet…
McCrorie always had the intention of going out on loan this campaign:
“Last year, it was all about playing matches in the Under-20’s and being a part of the first-team squad. This year, it was always the plan to go out on loan – I wouldn’t say there is a massive gulf in the standard of what I am receiving at Berwick to what I am getting with Rangers. Obviously full-time football gives the manager a chance to work with the players more but in terms of the philosophies, they are very similar. It is all geared towards the next match and having a winning mentality. If stuff in a match didn’t go right, the manager will work with us on it on the training ground, so I wouldn’t say there is much difference in that sense.
I always try to help players; I am a big believer in talking to the boys before matches and letting them know what I want. I have a winning mentality which I try to put across to them, but, in fairness, for most of the guys, if we lose on a Saturday it could ruin your weekend as winning is a big thing for a professional football player.”
Next season, the Development League will be scrapped to allow the re-introduction of the Reserve League and the 19-year-old shot stopper believes this is the right decision.
“I would say I have learnt more in the last four months while playing in League Two than I had in the previous two years, as I have now come up against experienced professionals and established league sides. The main difference has to be on the physical aspect of the game as down at this level the players you are up against are a lot bigger and stronger. In saying that, however, I have learnt a lot from a tactical point of view too.”
The Rangers goalkeeper saw the move to Berwick as a chance to prove himself, with the teenager having now managed to earn a recall to the Scotland Under-21 side.
“Playing against sides like Morton and Motherwell in the BetFred Cup were massive matches for the club and I saw it as a chance to prove myself against full-time teams. I had the belief and the confidence within myself to do well in those games. I feel like I am learning every week; after every match I can look back and find faults that I need to work on. I have played 18 matches now and from where I started to where I am now, there has been a clear progression and I hope that continues.
The matches are so competitive so your concentration levels are massive in these types of situations. You need to be switched on for the full 90 minutes. I have realised myself that these games can be pretty tight and it is the small, fine, margins which could decide them so as a goalkeeper myself, I know I need to be at it for the whole match. It is a great honour for myself to have been called up by Scot Gemmill and it was a personal target of mines which I have now achieved. It is disappointing I am going to be missing the Edinburgh City match, but, I could never turn down the opportunity to potentially play for my country.”
McCrorie is enjoying life at Shielfield Park and plans to see out the season with the Borderers.
“I am realistic, to be honest. I am staying out on loan for the full season as if I was to go back to Rangers right now, with the way Wes [Foderingham] is playing, I would just end up training and maybe playing the odd match with the Under-20’s. It is definitely good for me staying at Berwick, getting games every week and building a profile for myself.”