James Tavernier arrived at Rangers as one of the first arrivals under Mark Warburton back in 2015. In a football world which sees an extremely quick turnaround of players, his length of service should not be underestimated.
Sitting on 95 goals and well over 100 assists, his stats have been impressive and he was one of the main catalysts in Rangers run to the Europa League final just last season. He scored the winning goal to clinch the Championship in his first season then lifted the league title in 2021 to deliver Rangers 55th title.
His inclusion in the Hall of Fame has divided a few but undeniable is his overall importance to this Rangers team.
We were offered the opportunity to speak with him just minutes after his induction and he was his usual professional self but this time tinged with emotion.
Thanks again to the Rangers media team and Nick Thomson for access, you can read and hear what James had to say below.
James, congratulations on your induction, how does that feel?
“I’m unbelievably honoured and privileged to be alongside such special players who have represented Rangers throughout the years. A special message to my teammates Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, it’s a huge honour for them tonight and they deserve if for what they have given the football club. I’ve got so many more chapters and I’m hungrier than ever to achieve what we all want to achieve and that’s winning more trophies.”
When you first joined you spoke about finding somewhere you could call home, what have been the highlights of that journey?
“I will always go back to the early days and it’s Rangers who give me the foundations to do what I do on a daily basis which is playing football, something I love. So I will always try and pay Rangers back for that. It’s about trying to improve every day and trying to push myself and the team. We are all wanting to share those special memories we have done previously to bring back more success to the club.”
How proud are you of your mental strength to come through those tougher times?
“It’s been testing but I’ve enjoyed whatever has come my way. I like challenges and trying to make myself better and the only way you can do that is by challenging yourself. You always want to learn and try and better yourself. I’ve tried to do that over the years and I’m a stronger person mentally so hopefully that puts me in a good place to help others around me to do what we want to do which is winning more trophies and be a better football team.”
Where does this rank for you in terms of achievements so far?
“It’s up there with some of the top achievements to be selected to go into a hall of fame at a club like Rangers. It’s a special moment and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. When I hang my boots up and look back on it, it’s something that will be with me for the rest of my life. I will be able to visit Ibrox and my name will be up there on the board. It’s something that’s really special that I know in time will really set in for me and my family to enjoy it as well.
(Allan Mcgregor shouts ‘Shut it’ in the background 😁)
This is why you become a footballer and it’s just another great example of why I gave my best all these years and to be chosen to go into the HOF means the world to me. I am looking to pay that back and give everything.”
How important has it been to settle here for you footballing and personally?
“My wife and I had a campervan and went up and down the country with my loan moves. They got cut short and that interrupted my football. To find a place in Glasgow where I have really been treated as one of their own, and my family is all settled, the football side, I’m more settled than ever so the whole combination was perfect. That’s why it’s been easy to be here. It’s my eighth season and football really does fly and the years go past but that’s because I’ve been so comfortable.”
If you had to choose top 3 goals or moments at Rangers what would you choose?
“Hopefully, yeah definitely hopefully I get one on Sunday. My top three goals would be a couple from European games, Dortmund or Leipzig, early goals which kickstarted the games there that mean a lot. Then there is the Petrofac Volley which I enjoyed. There are so many, I am proud of every single one, proud of all of them. The Dundee Utd free kick at Tannadice, even the one at Livingston the other day. Think you seen my facial expressions when that went in, it’s a joy for every goal to go in. As long as we win, obviously! It’s hard to choose one really but as long as we keep winning and I’ll do my best to help the team”
One thought on “James Tavernier – The interview”
Tav gets alot of criticism at times and can lack defensively at times but he gives 110% every time he pulls on the famous blue Jersey. His stats for a rb are up there with anyone and Infact you would find it hard to find any rb past or present who has the stats tav has.he conducts himself well both on and off the park .I for one am glad he came to our club and hope he is here for years to come
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