The challenge for David McCallum is to produce players that are capable of wearing the Rangers shirt. He must also mould people that are fit to wear the badge.

The process has changed once again this season for the 20s boss and the squad that are under his tutelage at Auchenhowie but the ultimate aim is still the same for all concerned.

Rangers made the decision earlier this summer to withdraw from the Lowland League. After two seasons in the division, it was deemed that the ends did not justify the means and the collapse of the Conference League proposals altered the direction for the academy.

The ‘best v best’ games programme has been reintroduced this term as a result. A 4-2 victory over their Blackpool counterparts was earned on Wednesday and Rangers have also faced the likes of Manchester City, Everton and Burnley in recent weeks.

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The campaign started with matches against Crusaders and Bangor during a pre-season trip to Northern Ireland and McCallum has emphasised how important that experience was for his Colts on and off the park.

“We have a responsibility to make sure the fans enjoy watching the team and they all wanted pictures with the players after the game," McCallum said as he promoted the Rangers Youth Development Company - which has provided more than £10million to the academy - earlier this week. "It’s important all players realise what the club means to supporters and the boys were all generous with their time.

“We had a lot of younger players involved with the camp and it was a great experience for them.

“We want our players to show who they are and have a bit of character. As developers of young footballers they must have standards but young players can become robots and we want them to be individuals and retain their personalities.

“There is a need for that. On and off the pitch we want players to be humble but show personality and character.

“We have a lot of experience in our Academy to help the players. Steven Smith had a high-profile playing career, Brian Gilmour was an Academy player and also played abroad and Graeme Smith had a nearly 20-year playing career too so that is all really helpful for their development.

“I have loved my time here and I really enjoy developing players. I know why I’m here, I know what I’m doing and I know what I can bring to the young players.

“It’s a great club to work at, I supported this club as a boy and I want to see the young players we work with go round to the first-team and stick there."

Rangers are embarking on a new era at first team level after boss Michael Beale overhauled his squad and built a team in his name and his image during the summer transfer window.

It has been all change at youth levels as well. Zeb Jacobs has been appointed as head of academy to replace Craig Mulholland and coaching staff at various levels have been shuffled once again.

The match schedule is the biggest alteration that the players themselves will notice. In time, McCallum is confident it will pay off individually and collectively at Ibrox.

McCallum said: “There are a number of benefits to our Best v Best Programme.

“We enjoyed being part of the Lowland League set up and we appreciated the hospitality from the clubs we visited. They always looked after us and we tried to make it work.

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“But we felt the ceiling for development was blocked and we couldn’t see opportunities to go higher and test the boys against men - who are essentially full time players in higher divisions.

“We have a responsibility to our young players and we have to provide them with the best challenges more consistently.

“We want to do all we can to prepare them for a journey to the first-team so as staff we discussed all areas of player development and the data we had collected from the different levels of games we had been involved in. 

“The decision to build our own programme – Best v Best – was then based on the information we had collected, and the informed opinions involved in the discussions.

“We will work in blocks of six weeks and arrange games to suit. We will travel, clubs will come to us and we will change the venues to give players a change of environment. It can’t always be the sterile environment of the Academy.

“We will play games here of course but we need to expose the players to different situations. By choosing our own opposition we can provide greater tactical challenges for the boys due to the level of players we are up against."