BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Alloa defender Ryan Finnie is adamant he will relish the challenge of shackling Barrie McKay today after insisting he always knew the Rangers youngster was destined for the big time.
The 22-year-old played alongside the tricky winger in the Ibrox youth ranks before Finnie departed the club due to a lack of first-team opportunities in 2014.
Nevertheless, he is delighted to see how McKay has progressed under the watchful eye of Mark Warburton, illuminating his last two outings with wonder-goals against Celtic and Hibernian.
The youngster’s progress has been all the more laudable, given an uninspiring loan stint at Raith Rovers last season, which called into question whether he would make the grade in Govan.
Ex-Partick Thistle, Dumbarton and Hamilton full-back Finnie said: “His goal against Celtic was absolutely different class and it’s great to see how he has kicked on. Undoubtedly he’s someone we will need to keep quiet.
“I played with Barrie in the under-20s at Rangers and in my opinion he always had that wee bit more than the other boys in terms of ability; something special. I always thought really highly of him.
“It has taken time for him to get his chance, with him being sent out on loan, but he is an example of what can happen when you play under a manager that believes in you.
”He could easily have been another youngster who slipped away from Rangers. Instead, he suits Mark Warburton’s style and philosophy and he’s got a bit of luck at the right times.”
A self-confessed Gers fans, if not for his football commitments Finnie admits he would probably be among the home fans at Ibrox lapping up Rangers’ title party.
Instead, the former Scotland youth internationalist is determined to gatecrash the festivities with already-relegated Alloa.
He smiled: “It’ll be strange trying to ruin the party, as I grew up a Rangers fan! I would’ve probably been at the game as a fan – so it will be a different experience to be on the pitch.
“However, just like the rest of the boys, I’ll be doing my best to cause an upset. You just never know, the boys are on a good run of form and we drew 1-1 with Rangers at home, so we need to have belief in ourselves.
“It will be a great occasion, a packed crowd and a superb atmosphere, so it’s the type of afternoon we should relish after a tough season, with the disappointment of going down.”