Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad have been fully supportive of the club’s decision to move their women’s team towards professional status, according to Northern Ireland internationalist Demi Vance.

The 28-year-old, inset, joined up with Gregory Vignal’s squad at the start of January as the Ibrox team prepare to challenge Glasgow City’s monopoly on the Scottish women’s scene.

And the chance to follow in the footsteps of Rangers midfielder and compatriot Steven Davis has given Vance an opportunity she never thought she would get.

“Growing up I watched Steve Davis and all of a sudden you are seeing them about the training ground and in the corridors,” she said.

Glasgow Times:

“I grew up as a Rangers fan so to come here and play is so exciting. All my life I wanted to play football and if I could have picked a club to play for it would have been Rangers so it feels amazing to have this chance.

“We are really integrated and it has been great. Everyone stops and speaks and they have been really supportive of us. From the board down we couldn’t ask for me. They are serious about getting this team set up to be a real force in Scottish football and it is exciting to be part of it. It is a chance I wasn’t sure would ever come so I am really looking forward to getting into the season.

“It is a new squad so we are all just getting to know one another. There are five of us sharing a flat over in the West End so it has been great.

“This is the first time that I have gone full-time but I was a personal trainer at home so I was used to training every day. The benefit now is that I don’t have any distractions. I have been able to give my full focus to something that I love and concentrate fully on my football.”

Glasgow Times:

And Vance says that she is already looking forward to the derby against Celtic.

“I can’t wait,” she said. “It is going to be brilliant. I grew up watching these games on TV and to play in one will be amazing.”