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Football: FIRST LADY OF MURRAY PARK; Rangers sign up female coach Pauline.


RANGERS' latest signing has all the credentials the Ibrox fans have come to expect.

Sixty-six international caps, 21 winner's medals and even the same haircut as Lorenzo Amoruso - SHE'S sure to be a success.

Pauline Hamill has become the club's first woman coach as Murray Park brings in a woman's touch in an attempt to unearth their future stars.

The announcement that Rangers are to invest pounds 10million on youth development over the next five years will see their training complex throw open its doors with former players Alex Cleland, Stephen Wright, Brian Reid and Robert Prytz among others joining Hamill in nurturing the talent.

She said: "It's a great honour to be the first woman recruited at Rangers on the coaching staff and I am determined to do well.

"The facility here is brilliant and I'm aiming to prove that I'm more than capable of banishing the stigma that football shouldn't be for girls.

"It's great to be involved in this initiative which is geared to getting youngsters involved at a young age and I couldn't be happier."

The 31-year-old is currently helping Scotland's women's team qualify for the European Championships as well as turning out for Hibs but she insists her main ambitions belong on the training pitch.

She said: "Our national side are top of their qualifying group which is another boost for our game.

"I believe it will be a long, long time before a woman gets the chance to be involved in senior men's football but at least this is a start.

"My role here is to help with the youth development coaching which is the way ahead for a club like Rangers.

"I've had a bit of stick from my friends since they found out I've been working here as I'm actually a Man United fan but that is something I am trying to keep quiet."

Community development officer Craig Mulholland is heading up the drive towards tapping the football talent on the club's doorstep.

He said: "We have employed 20 parttime coaches to work with kids as young as three. Sides like Man United who have eight full time development officers know the importance of rearing their own youngsters so this task can't be understated.

"Rangers are well aware of their obligation towards the community and Murray Park will be utilised to its full potential to bring on a new generation of players.

"We are launching a pounds 300,000 scheme and will visit over 50 schools in Glasgow in a partnership with Glasgow City Council and will target kids with disabilities as well youths with behavioural problems.

"If we can unearth a gem along the way it will be a bonus."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 5, 2003
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