IT is six weeks since Tommy Wilson left Rangers to take up a new position in America, but the former Gers reserve boss has yet to get his feet under the desk Stateside.

Instead, the 51-year-old has hit the road to travel across Europe, using the time spent waiting for the paperwork on his move to MLS side Philadelphia Union to be completed as he looks to expand his horizons and knowledge ahead of a significant career change.

After seven years at Murray Park, Wilson's final act at Rangers was to guide his young stars to the reserve league title.

And after working under Paul le Guen, Walter Smith and latterly Ally McCoist, he has headed to the continent for inspiration.

"When I left Rangers, I didn't know how long it would be until I got my visa to work in the USA," Wilson told SportTimes.

"So rather than hang about and wait, I went to some academies in Germany and Spain because they are more in line with the ones in the USA.

"I went to Dortmund, Schalke and Espanyol and I am heading to Philadelphia soon hopefully.

"I could have gone over on a tourist visa, but because I am going to go and work there it is better I get it in my passport. Everything has been granted so hopefully I can head out soon and get started."

Wilson's journey across Europe didn't just give him thoughts and ideas to take to the US to enhance his future, it allowed him to reflect on the game – and country – he is set to leave behind.

The domestic outlook may be as poor as it has been for many years, perhaps ever, and Gordon Strachan's national side are under-performing on the world stage, but Wilson is confident the building blocks for a brighter future are in the right place.

He said: "I spoke to Jim Sinclair (Rangers' head of youth development) on my return and I was saying that I don't think the programmes we have in place, not just at Rangers but at other clubs in Scotland, are bad.

"In terms of the way we train our players, the way our staff are coached, I don't think we are behind.

"In Germany, the facilities were excellent, but Rangers and Celtic have excellent facilities and other clubs are working towards that.

"I think where we are behind, and where we will always be behind, is just the sheer volume of players.

"I am going to an area that has 11 million people and that is only one region in the USA.

"The volume of players in other countries has Scotland on the back foot because we don't have anywhere near the amount of players.

"Germany and Spain can afford to shed players but in Scotland they are precious, we need to hang onto them and cherish them and work really hard to nurture them."

After a successful seven-year spell that saw Wilson and his fellow Murray Park coaches produce and develop several Light Blue first-team stars, including the current crop that McCoist has placed his faith in this season, the call to leave was a hard one to make.

In the weeks since his departure, the blue skies over Ibrox have been filled by dark clouds once again.

But having come through the worst of Rangers' problems, Wilson insists that the prospect of even more off-field drama didn't force his hand.

"My decision to leave Rangers wasn't linked to what is going on just now," he said.

"I spoke to the manager before Christmas about this opportunity. I had been over in America around the time Rangers went into administration and, like everyone else, you fear for your job.

"Things stabilised at the club, Charles Green came in and things settled down to a large extent.

"I had a great job at Rangers and wasn't looking to leave.

"But things had progressed at Philadelphia and the youth side of the business was expanding.

"I spoke to Ally and he was keen for me to stay, but things started to develop and it was something that appealed to me more and more.

"It was an opportunity I decided to take."

Having brought the curtain down on his time at Rangers, Wilson is now preparing for a new chapter in his footballing life.

As Academy Director at PPL Park, he will oversee the Philadelphia Union's youth development programme as the game across the water continues to grow and mature at an impressive rate.

The MLS may not be held in as high a regard as many of its European counterparts, but the potential is there for America to make its mark says Wilson.

He explained: "It is a new challenge for me. I am going into a good environment.

"America has got an excellent league, teams that consistently sell-out their stadia and they are attracting top players.

"The next big thing is to develop top players, and that is the challenge for me in my role, to make sure that America produces players.

"I know we are competing with basketball, baseball and American Football, but if we can get our fair share attracted to football and support them then I don't see why America can't be the next Germany or Spain and produce world-class players."