Highlanders to face stern Rangers’ midfield led by Canadian Aird
(Photo credit: Rangers FC)
VICTORIA – In anticipation of the July 21, Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, presented by Coast Capital Savings, Victoria Highlanders FC will spotlight the incoming Rangers roster, this time focusing on the midfielders. The Rangers are coming off a campaign that saw them go unbeaten in league play and secure the Scottish Professional Football League One title, earning themselves a promotion to Scottish football’s second tier of the league.
The team is led into the 2014-15 season by a solid core of midfielders that includes Lee McCulloch, Arnold Peralta, Kyle Hutton, Nicky Law, Ian Black, Lewis Macleod, Robbie Crawford, Fraser Aird, and Dean Shiels.
The current Rangers FC captain enters his eighth season with the club. The versatile player, who can play any position on the field, has made 18 appearances for the Scotland national team. The 2012-13 campaign, the year he was named captain, saw McCulloch play primarily as a striker and helped carried the offence on his way to the 2013 Rangers Player of the Year Award. His resume includes 224 appearances with Wigan Athletic FC and 124 appearances with Motherwell. He is the most experienced player on the Rangers’ backline with 257 appearances in all competitions for Glasgow.
Arnold Peralta, Defensive Midfielder
The La Ceiba, Honduras native was named to the Honduras men’s national team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was unable to attend due to an injury. The 25-year-old has suited up 20 times for the ‘Gers since his signing and has registered a goal.
Kyle Hutton, Defensive Midfielder
Hutton, a Cambuslang, Scotland native, is entering his fourth season with the Scottish side. His Rangers’ debut came back in 2010 in a match against Kilmarnock. He made two Champions League appearances, against Manchester United and Bursapor, before his first league start with the Rangers. After a couple of loan spells with Partick Thistle and Dunfermline Athletic, the 23-year-old returned to Glasgow in the 2012-13 campaign.
Law began his career in the Sheffield United system between 2005-2009. During that time, the 26-year-old spent loan spells with Yeovil Town and Bradford City. Before signing with Rangers FC in 2013, the Nottingham, England native, spent time with Rotherham United and Motherwell. Law, son of football manager and former football player Nicky Law Sr., has recorded 11 goals for the ‘Gers.
Ian Black, Central Midfielder
The Edinburgh, Scotland native enters his third season with Rangers FC. Before arriving at Glasgow in 2012, Black previously suited up for Iverness Caledonian Thistle and Heart of Midlothian. The 29-year-old has made 80 appearances for Rangers FC over the past two seasons.
Lewis Macleod, Central Midfielder
Macleod has been a member of Rangers FC since 2012. The Wishaw, Scotland native has made 39 league appearances for the ‘Gers. He has also been a key member of Scotland’s national youth teams as he has appeared on the U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-21 squads during his young career. The 20-year-old is entering his third year as a member of Rangers FC.
Crawford has been with the Rangers since the age of eight and has worked up through their youth system. The 21-year-old made 23 appearances for Glasgow last season while recording a pair of goals.
Fraser Aird, Left Midfielder
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Aird signed as youth with the Rangers at the age of 16. He has suited up for Scotland’s national U-17 and U-19 squads. Aird was awarded with a Glasgow Cup winner’s medal in 2012. Originally called up during the 2012-13 campaign, he scored his first goal with Glasgow against Queens Park. Aird made 35 appearances for the ‘Gers last season and recorded seven goals.
Dean Shiels, Attacking Midfielder
The Northern Ireland native scored a goal and recorded two assists in his first appearance with Rangers FC in a Scottish League Cup match. He is entering his third season with Glasgow. Previous clubs include Kilmarnock, Doncaster Rovers, and Hibernian. The 27-year-old has a wealth of international experience as he has played for the Northern Ireland national youth squads and has suited up for the Northern Ireland men’s national team on 14 occasions.
Rangers and Highlanders will face off in the 2014 Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, July 21 at University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. Kick-off in the match is set for 6:00 p.m., tickets are on sale and are available through Select Your Tickets at 250-220-7777. Additional information can be found through www.highlandersfc.ca.