Football academy

Under-18s: Rangers v Hearts | Youth Cup | Preview

26 January 2024

Our Under-18s’ Youth Cup journey continues this afternoon, as they travel west to face Rangers in fifth round action at the Rangers Training Centre.


David McNeil’s Wee Jambos blew Dunfermline away in the last round, seeing off the Young Pars 4-2 at East End Park.


James Wilson, fresh off his senior debut against Spartans with the first team, racked up an impressive hat-trick with Rocco Friel adding the extra.


The 18s have been in sensational scoring form more recently too: defeating both Kilmarnock and Aberdeen in 3-2 scorelines in their previous two matches.




  • 18th Jan Vs Killie (A) – 3-2 Win – Friel, McLuckie, & Stevenson (89th minute winner) Tas also saved a Pen at 2-1 Hearts


  • 12th Jan Vs Aberdeen (H) – 3-2 Win – Stevenson, Hutchison & Plesiewicz (Stoppage time winner)


  • 19th December Vs Dunfermline (A) – 4-2 Win (Youth Cup) – Wilson x 3 + Friel


  • Currently 4th in CAS U18s league behind Killie and Aberdeen who they’ve beat in the last two weeks. Rangers 3rd.


  • Last outing vs Rangers at RTC was a 1-0 victory for the hosts, with a very young Hearts side full of U16s in mid-December.


  • Previous game to that vs Rangers was a 4-1 victory against them at Oriam at the start of December, Wilson x 2, Walker & Ross.




 David McNeil, Under-18s Head Coach said: “The Youth Cup is great opportunity for the boys to feel the pressures of knockout football, and to deal with the challenges that come with that. We’ve had a good run of form beating 1st and 2nd placed Killie and Aberdeen in the league since returning in the New Year, and I am hoping that we can continue those levels of performance into the game tonight.”


“We know the quality that Rangers have, but feel we can match them, as our victory earlier in the season against them shows. The boys have prepared well, and it has made team selection all that more difficult as all the eligible boys, even at U15s and U16s are desperate to be in the squad and be part of this occasion with a chance to get into a semi-final.”