THE trips across the water from Northern Ireland to Glasgow have been worth it for Chris McKee. Rangers is now home sweet home.

The striker had been on the Light Blues’ radar for some time before he put pen-to-paper and the months since a deal was clinched have been validation for both parties as McKee has gone from strength to strength in the Academy.

First spotted by scout Phil Cowen, McKee would play, and score, against Rangers before Craig Mulholland checked on his progress. His performances in the Milk Cup were further signs of his promise and stints on trial at the Hummel Training Centre followed before a hat-trick against Kilmarnock got his Gers career off and running.

“I had a few clubs after me so I had a decision to make but my mind was always to sign for Rangers right from the very start,” McKee said of his move from Linfield to Rangers.

“When Rangers offered me a contract, it was a no-brainer for me to sign it and I am delighted to be here and thankful for the opportunity.

“The main thing was when I came to Rangers, it felt like I was at home. The Scottish are very similar to the Northern Irish and we have the same sort of personalities.

“I felt when I went down to England I wasn’t accepted as much in their groups but all the boys and the staff made me feel at home at Rangers.

“I was offered terms at Nottingham Forest and Stevenage and was supposed to go on trial at Everton and Swansea but I turned them down because I wanted to get my Rangers deal finished.

“I have no regrets at all and it has been great. My first year was tough because the team was established and I was going into a side with some top players that were playing well.

“But once I got myself going, got even fitter and was in full-time I was just getting better.

“This year I have kicked on, scored a lot of goals and been involved in three out of the four Youth League matches so that has been really good.”

McKee is not the only Northern Irish kid that has moved to Glasgow in hope of making the grade with Rangers in the coming years.

Winger Ross McCausland and defender Lewis MacKinnon have followed McKee’s path and have their own ambitions of starring in the Ibrox first team.

McKee, part of the side that lifted the Al Kass Cup in March, has made promising progress since moving to Glasgow and is pleased with his strides forward this term.

He said: “I work a lot with Kevin Thomson and he helps me a lot on the pitch and off the pitch when we look at clips and stuff like that. He helps me with my technical stuff and shooting. He has played at the highest level for Rangers and in England so you always look up to a guy like that.

“If he is teaching me these things, they are bound to work so you have that trust in the process and what he is telling you. It is really good to be working alongside him.

“Hopefully I can doing well, keep doing what I am doing and keep scoring goals.”

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