Where Are They Now? The 2012 Rangers Division Three Side

Ibrox Front

So we all know about the financial meltdown of 2012 that saw Rangers in administration, then the company was liquidated and the new company had to start life in Scotland’s old Division Three

The date was the 11th of August 2012 and a hastily arranged Gers squad, which still had a few old faces, went north to face unfamiliar opponents and came back with a point after a 2-2 draw

Fast forward four years and Rangers are once again in the top flight but what happened to the players that started against Peterhead at Balmmor Stadium in front of a record breaking 4,500 crowd?

Neil Alexander:

Had joined Rangers in 2008 and spent most of his time at Ibrox as Allan McGregor’s understudy. That year in the bottom league would be the goalkeeper’s only season as Ger’s number one goalie and he’d leave after one season with the club in the lower leagues.

He jumped from Division Three to the English Premier League when he left Rangers on a free in 2013 and signed for newly promoted Crystal Palace. He spent a year with the Eagles but couldn’t break into their team.

Alexander would then join Hearts and spend two years with the capital side. He’d win promotion in his first season with the Jambos, denying his old side Rangers promotion, and help the team finish third in the Premiership last term.

Now thirty-five, Alexander joined Aberdeen in the summer and he’s back up for Joe Lewis at Pittodrie.

Kirk Broadfoot:

Kirk was always a funny player, he was well loved at Ibrox but also became a bit of a laughing stock at times. His gangly, unnatural running style created much amusement and let’s never forget his egg related injury!

As many just departed the club, Broadfoot would at least stay for the first month to help the club out. Against Peterhead he still managed to seem out of his depth. Ultimately he was a loyal player who gave his all and helped the club to three league titles and a UEFA Cup final.

Broadfoot would leave Ibrox by mutual consent at the end of August 2012 and has since forged a decent career for himself in the English Championship, originally with Blackpool and then with Rotherham United.

In 2015 he was banned for ten matches by The FA for verbally abusing James McLean, it was widely reported that the nature of the abuse was deemed sectarian. He remains with the Millers and is playing under former Celtic and Hibs man Alan Stubbs this season.

Dorin Goian:

The big Romanian had a fantastic start to his Gers career in 2011. But as the financial mess took hold at the club his form seemed to disappear too.

By all accounts the centre-half loved Glasgow and enjoyed playing for the club. But the reality of the situation set in after his outing in Peterhead and he asked the club for a move away. He has since stated that he’d have happily stayed on had they just been demoted by one tier.

Would leave in 2012 for a loan spell in Italy with Spezia. During his years stay with the Aquilotti Goian would receive a four game suspension for pushing a referee and this almost resulted in him  coming back to Ibrox in January 2013.

In the summer of 2013 he was released from his Gers contract and moved to Greece to play for Asteras Tripoli. He retired this summer after spending three years with the Greek Super League side. It was then announced that he would return to Romania and become Executive President/Sporting Administrator at his first club Foresta Suceava.

Carlos Bocanegra: 

Carlos would amass 110 international caps with the USA.

Like fellow centre-back Goian, Bocanegra enjoyed his time in Scotland and became a fan favourite at Ibrox. But after three games in Scotland’s bottom tier he departed for Spanish second division side Racing Santander, on loan, in the hope of earning an international recall.

After his year in Spain, he would negotiate his release from Rangers (the club needed him off the wage bill) and he’d then go on and play two seasons with MLS side Chivas USA.

Carlos Bocanegra retired as a player in 2014 and he’s now Technical Director with new MLS franchise club Atlanta United FC, they will start in the league next year.

In an interview with the Daily Record he said this about that game against Peterhead:

‘There was a cool atmosphere up there. We played poorly and stole a point, I remember that.’

Lee Wallace: 

One of only two players from that day that’s still at Ibrox.

The marauding left-back has now become the club’s captain, has earned international recalls and won the Third Division, Scottish League and the Championship titles as well as the Challenge Cup.

Will no doubt become a legend and hall of famer for all that he’s done and sacrificed by staying with the club. At the time of writing he’s managed 220 appearances for Rangers and scored 22 goals.

Ian Black: 

One of the clubs major summer signings that year. He was convinced to drop down the leagues to help get Rangers back into the Premiership.

Ian would play regularly for the ‘Light Blues’ in his three years at the club but his style would never really win over the Gers fanbase. In 2013 he was suspended and fined by the SFA for breaching rules on players betting on football.

Something of note is the fact that Black won his one and only Scotland cap while playing for Rangers in Division Three when he came on against Australia in 2012.

Left the Govan club when his contract expired last year and he would end up playing for English League One side Shrewsbury Town and he remains there to this day.

Andy Little: 

The Northern Irish forward would breakthrough into the Rangers first team in 2009. His first start came bizarrely as right-back in an Old Firm game and he only lasted eleven minutes after picking up a hamstring injury.

Remained with the club after the demotion and spent two seasons with them in the lower leagues. He scored the last ditch equaliser against Peterhead on that opening day and would go onto score twenty-two league goals during that campaign.

Would suffer an injury during the side’s League One season and never seemed to figure again in manager Ally McCoist’s plans and was released in 2014.

He then went on to sign for Preston North End but failed to make an impact and was sent out on loan to Blackpool and Accrington Stanley. The twenty-seven year old is currently without a club after being dumped by Preston in the summer.

Lewis Macleod: 

The attacking midfielder benefitted from all the turmoil at the club as it fast-tracked him into the first team.

He would repay McCoist’s faith in him by often starring when he played for the ‘Light Blues’ and the youngster played with a maturity that didn’t reflect his age. His eye-catching performances for Rangers in the lower divisions didn’t go unnoticed as Gordon Strachan called him into the Scotland squad, although he didn’t make his debut.

After successful seasons in the bottom two tiers and a bright start to life in the Championship, Rangers sold the teen to Brentford (the Bees were managed by Mark Warburton at the time) in January 2014 for an initial fee of £850k. That enraged the Gers support and ultimately lead to the regime change in the Ibrox boardroom.

After an injury plagued first year and a half at Brentford, Macleod has started to impress for the club this season.

Lee McCulloch:

Would captain the Gers in the lower leagues and was one of the players who stayed on at the club despite interest from elsewhere.

Was no doubt coming to the end of his career but still managed to grab plenty of goals for the team in those years and would play wherever he was asked whether it was as a centre-back, midfielder or as the main striker.

Left the side after they failed to secure promotion in 2015 and probably deserved a better send off than the one he got. Now at Kilmarnock he’s seen mainly as a coach, not as a player.

Was Killie’s temporary manager earlier this year and managed them to a goalless draw against Rangers in the Scottish Cup.

Dean Shiels: 

Another new boy that summer and he too didn’t meet the expectations expected of him. Was always average without being anything beyond that.

The Northern Irish forward would see through the fight back to the Premiership, playing 120 league games for Rangers and scoring thirty-nine goals.

Was a bit-part player under Warburton last year and was released in the summer.

Made the interesting move from Rangers to the League of Ireland when he signed for Irish champions Dundalk. He would score his first goal for the Lilywhites in a cup win over Crumlin United last month.

Barrie Mckay: 

The other star, like Wallace, that is still at the club today.

Had a few loan spells away from Ibrox during the McCoist era and it seemed his future would lie elsewhere. But was given another chance under Warburton and has taken that chance with both hands.

Barrie was an outstanding performer on the wings last term as Rangers galloped towards the Championship title. He would bag nine goals last year, including a stunner against Old Firm rivals Celtic in the Scottish Cup.

Gordon Starchan has since called the youngster into his international set-up and he was given his debut against France in June.

Used Substitutes:

Kevin Kyle: 

The big tall striker made eight league appearances for Rangers that season, scoring three times.

Had persistent injury problems, never looked entirely fit and serious issues with his mobility. This lead to him departing in March 2013 by mutual consent.

Would spend a year at Ayr United during the 2013/14 season and he’s score five times for the west coast club. Retired from football in 2014 and has since returned to work on the ferries.

Interestingly enough he played in the BDO Scottish Darts Open and beat ninth seed Richard Veenstra before being knocked out in the third round.

Fran Sandaza: 

A lot was expected of the Spanish striker at Ibrox after he scored eighteen goals for St Johnstone the previous season.

But he was another summer signing that struggled in the third division, scoring just twice in fourteen league appearances. It didn’t help that suffered from a broken cheekbone in a League Cup tie against Motherwell.

He was famously sacked by the club after a hoax phone call from a Celtic fan. The hoaxer coaxed Fran to tell him about his situation at Rangers including details about his contract.

After failing to sue both Rangers and the hoaxer, Sandaza returned to his homeland. At Girona FC his scoring form returned and he won a move to Japanese side FC Tokyo. But after failing to settle in the Far East, Fran would re-sign for Girona in July.

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