Rangers have restructured their entire youth structure, with Graeme Murty being appointed Head of Elite Academy Development and Peter Lovenkrands departing the club.

Lovenkrands has been working with the Light Blues' academy and reserve sides since 2017 but has now left amid a total overhaul. Former Ibrox midfielder Kevin Thomson will now take over as coach at Rangers' B team - formerly the under-20s outfit - alongside Brian Gilmour.

The academy itself has also been reorganised into a foundation phase, youth development phase and professional development phase. Explaining the decision, sporting director Ross Wilson outlined future plans to eventually integrate promising youngsters into Steven Gerrard's first-team. 

"This is a model I have been working on with Craig Mulholland since I arrived at the Club," he told the club website. "Many of the principles we will work to structurally are embedded within the English EPPP structure that I am extremely familiar with. All of the staff involved in the professional development phase move to a role with a new challenge and into an area that we believe really matches their skillsets. 

"Steven Gerrard has regularly integrated our best young players into the first team group, and he will reward any young player showing the level of ability and attitude daily. It is part of our strategic model for the football department that the best talent will get opportunities when they earn them and all of us want to see young players grasp such opportunity."

On Murty's change of role, Wilson added: "Graeme has a talent and passion for coaching that we wanted to extend across the academy as opposed to focused on one age group. It is important that our game model always evolves with an awareness of best practice and learnings from elsewhere as well as creating an additional layer to the programme for our very best players. 

"This is common in English Academies and I was clear it was something I would add at Rangers. I am pleased that Graeme is the man who will take on this role as it will shape all of our young players development."

First-team boss Steven Gerrard added: "Since the day myself and the coaching staff arrived, we have tried to improve every area of the club and this is the next part of that. Ross and I wanted to ensure that the B Team are as closely aligned to the first-team as possible as well as giving all of the staff involved a new freshness and challenge in their work. We want the training centre to be a vibrant and positive place for young players to learn and this helps us keep moving in the right direction."