Zeb Jacobs intends to make Rangers one of the leading clubs in the world at developing young players after being promoted to the role of academy director.
The Belgian was initially recruited by Gers as head of academy coaching in 2021, with current manager Michael Beale – who was first-team coach at the time – involved in attracting him to Ibrox.
Jacobs, who was head of development at Royal Antwerp in his homeland prior to moving to Scotland, will step up to take on a position recently vacated by Craig Mulholland, whose looming departure was announced at the start of May.
“I am excited about this new chapter as the academy director of Rangers Football Club,” Jacobs told the Gers’ website. “The opportunity to develop the best young talent in Scotland is incredibly exciting, and I am ready to make a lasting impact.
“With the resources and elite infrastructure already in place, I firmly believe that our academy has the potential to become world-leading in player development.
“My vision is crystal clear: ‘create the most exciting learning environment in sports’.
“By maximising the potential of every player and nurturing their skills, we aim to produce a new generation of players who can excel not only for Rangers in Scotland but also on the European stage.
“My relationship with Michael Beale, our CEO and board is already very strong, and we will look to use that to maximise the pathway from the academy to the first team.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and truly excited for the bright future ahead.”
Chief executive James Bisgrove believes Jacobs’ relationship with Beale can help create a smooth pathway from academy to first team.
“I’d like to firstly congratulate Zeb on his appointment,” Bisgrove said.
“Michael Beale and I, along with other key colleagues from the football department, led a thorough and diligent recruitment process to identify our next academy director, with Zeb the outstanding candidate.
“Zeb will bring constant innovation and a clear vision to the role, and his strong collaborative relationship with Michael Beale and the first-team staff will ensure a direct link and pathway between the academy and men’s first team that will flourish for many years.
“The Rangers academy has produced some of the leading talents in the Scottish game in recent seasons, and we’re confident that Zeb is well placed to create an environment for the next crop of talent to thrive and reach the Rangers first team.
“Our academy is a truly elite environment, and the brilliant work of all academy staff, past and present, has laid a strong foundation for Zeb and the wider academy staff, including David McCallum [B team head coach], to accelerate this progress and ensure that our youth football development programme is the unrivalled leader in the Scottish game.”