BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Rangers youngster Ryan Hardie has revealed how he has been mentored on a daily basis by Kenny Miller as he bids to follow in the striker’s footsteps at Ibrox.
The 18-year-old’s first-team aspirations have taken him on loan to Raith Rovers this week, agreeing an initial 28-day deal with the Kirkcaldy side ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Livingston.
The Scotland under-19 marksman is highly thought of at Rangers but could remain at Stark’s Park for the remainder of the campaign to build his top-team experience.
Hardie bagged a double on his first start for the Govan giants against Dumbarton in April last year but has made just four substitute’s appearances this season.
However, the teenager insists he has had the best teacher possible in Miller after building a close bond with the former Scotland internationalist.
With Martyn Waghorn another top role model, he said: “I have learned a lot from Kenny this season.
“After most games and training sessions, I go through his analysis, watch his clips, he shows me his movement and gives me lots of tips in training.
“He is always on at me to make sure I am doing my best.
“After every game, me, Kenny and Davie Weir sit down and watch Kenny and Waggy’s tips for the strikers.
“I watch everything and hopefully it can only benefit me.
“When I am playing under-20s games as well, Kenny is the coach so he talks to us at the end of those matches which is really good for us with all his experience.
“People outside won’t know how much influence Kenny has but he is really good with the youngsters.
“He always has time for you and giving tips which is good.
“You also just have to watch Waggy in training as well. He gives his all, always 100 per cent. He is the same as Kenny, always giving out good advice as well.”
Hardie is in his seventh year with Rangers but felt it was time for him not to be content just filling the substitute’s bench at Ibrox any more.
It is that personal ambition that Raith will now be hoping reaps rewards as they chase a top-four finish in behind the Light Blues in the Championship.
Hardie added: “I am just about to turn 19 and at this stage I want to be getting first-team games, to try to get into the action before going back to Rangers proven as a player.
“At my age I should probably be happy being on the bench at Rangers but I was just looking to get some football.
“I heard that there were a few other clubs interested in me in the Championship and the leagues below but I just felt Raith was best for me. Hopefully playing here will be a good experience for me.
“Going to any club in Scotland from Rangers will be a culture shock. But I am just looking forward to the challenge and to help Raith get to the play-offs.”