CELTIC and Rangers have both defended the inclusion of their ‘colt’ sides in the Lowland League next season, saying that the move will be for the greater good of Scottish football

Both Celtic interim manager John Kennedy and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard have given their views on the proposal, which was approved on Monday, agreeing that the chance for their young players to test themselves in a competitive environment will greatly aid their development

When asked if he thought it was a progressive move for the Scottish game, Kennedy said.

“Yeah, I do. When we have had discussions in the past and conversations around it, it has been something I would always have supported.

“I remember being in Spain and watching the B teams playing in the clubs’ stadiums. They were playing against real, competitive teams, in a competitive environment and it can only aid the development of your players.

“What we have had for a number of years now is an inconsistency in what goes between youths and the first team.

“We have tried different things, different age groups, different conditions around older player and younger players, whatever it might be, and there has been no consistency of a real true games programmes that has provided what we need for our club, in terms of the development of our players.

“The step up from youth football to the first team at Celtic is huge and only the select few can really make that step. So, for us, it gives us a great opportunity to keep things in house and develop our players with a real proper games programme in a real competitive environment.

“That’s what we want and what we want to develop our players under, and the longer term the hope is that develops better players for the national team as well.

“I think it is a real positive for the game and for our club.”

Gerrard concurred that it wouldn’t only be the narrow interests of the Glasgow giants that will be served by the move.

"I think it will be fantastic for everyone, if people decide not to just think about themselves,” Gerrard said. “If they think about Scotland and improving the national team on all levels.

"What we want is to give the kids the chance to develop into better players. If you can play against men earlier, play for important points and gives these kids more responsibility and put them in pressure situations, playing in front of crowds and being challenged, that can only be for the benefit of the country.

"Obviously I'm sitting here as the Rangers manager and a lot of people will think I'm just saying that because I'm at Rangers and I'm being selfish.

"I understand those opinions but if I take myself out of the Rangers environment and think about the Scottish game and the national team, I think this is a big plus for Steve Clarke and any future Scotland manager that a lot more Scottish kids are getting challenged earlier.”

There was some discontent though at clubs further down the chain yesterday, with Civil Service Strollers' president Russell Pryde standing down from his position at the Lowland League club following the vote.

Pryde’s club was one of six who voted against the proposal, with 11 of the 17 clubs in the league coming out in favour, and he has resigned as a protest against the decision.

"It is with great regret that I will be resigning as president of Civil Service Strollers,” Pryde said in a statement.

"My issue is not with the club, it is with being associated with a decision that agrees that buying rule change is acceptable.

"I remain committed to the club and will offer my support in different ways."