Newtownabbey’s Andrew Mitchell this week signed a new one-year deal with the newco Rangers.
The 20-year-old put pen to paper with the Glasgow outfit on Monday, and despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding what league the club will be playing in next season, he told the Newtownabbey Times he is “over the moon” to be at Ibrox for another 12 months.
The promising midfielder broke into the Rangers first-team last season, making his debut against Dundee United at Tannadice back in March. He described his first game as a “day he will never forget”, adding: “It was a very proud moment for me.” His only other competitive appearance came as a substitute against St Mirren in April before featuring in a friendly against Linfield at Windsor Park in May.
“Pulling on the shirt for Rangers is just incredible,” he told the Times. “I love the club and everyone who is involved with it. The fans have been excellent with me and very supportive. I am over the moon to sign my new deal. As a young boy growing up, my aim was to play at the highest possible level and to be at Rangers is just a dream come true.
“It was important for me to sign my new deal because now I can concentrate on doing what I love, regardless of what league we’re in. All the boys are determined to do well. There are some big players in the team and they are great leaders as well, so that can only bounce off the young lads.”
The Rangers newco could be facing the prospect of starting life in the Scottish First Division next season. But, whichever league they are competing in, Mitchell is hopeful he can play a part in getting the Gers back to the top.
“It would be an honour to be part of the team to get Rangers back to where we belong,” he said. “No-one ever thought this would happen to such a big club like Rangers but it has and we just have to get on with it and be professional.”
The man hoping to mastermind the Rangers revival is Ally McCoist.
“The gaffer is a great manager to work with,” said Mitchell. “He has helped me a lot during my time here and he demands nothing but the best from his players. He is a Rangers legend and I love going out to training working with him and the other staff day in, day out.”
Mitchell also praised the tremendous support he receives from his family and revealed he enjoys coming back to the place he calls home - Glengormley.
“I love getting home to see my family,” he said. “They have been very supportive of me from a very young age. My mum and dad have been there from me from day one. They are always there for support and always said I had a ball at my feet or under my arm wherever I went when I was younger. They have been there for me all my life and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Having represented his country right up to under-21 level, the local lad dreams of pulling on the green shirt at full international level.
“It is definitely one of the goals I have set myself. Hopefully, one day, if I keep working hard, I can represent my country at the top level. It would be a dream come true for me.”
Report by John Gillespie | Twitter: @Times_Sport