What has motivated David Templeton's move to Ibrox?

Written by Andrew Southwick.

By Andrew Southwick:
 
It will have tickled Rangers fans, in a week when Celtic landed a £16 million windfall and were able to begin shopping for the Champions League, that it will be the Ibrox club who hog the Saturday back pages.
 
David Templeton, who on Thursday was putting Hearts in front at Anfield and playing his part in what looked like being one of Scottish football's biggest shocks in Europe, dropped down three divisions to sign for Ally McCoist's side.
 
It is a move that in the morning was laughed off, but throughout the day it became apparent that the 23-year-old was interested in the transfer, and the laughter instead was coming from the Light Blues.
 
He's not the first of Hearts' best players to head along the M8 with Ian Black already in the door, he'll play more often with Kevin Kyle than he did at Tynecastle, Lee Wallace has already established himself at left-back while who knows how close they came to landing Ryan McGowan too.
 
Many looking in are confused by the move. They are asking why a talented winger with dreams of playing for Scotland has moved to the fourth tier of Scottish football after starring against English Premiership opposition.
 
Has Templeton really made a step down though? Or has he in fact just entered the most exciting period in his career?
 

 Templeton has left the Cup winners behind for Ibrox: Photo by Gary McLaughlin
 
The memories are still fresh of Hearts delicious 5-1 win over Hibs in May, and the spoils of that win were still being enjoyed in midweek with the Jambos facing up to Liverpool while Hibs were spinning out of the League Cup to Queen of the South.
 
However, as so often happens at Tynecastle, the cup winning side is breaking up faster than the time it takes to read a Vladimir Romanov blog.
 
Black is already at Ibrox. Rudi Skacel didn't sign on, and Craig Beattie is no longer leading the front line. The first team is now full of forgotten men who Paulo Sergio didn't fancy last season. John Sutton would have got no-where near Hearts' frontline had Sergio still been in charge, and chances are, neither would Templeton.
 
John McGlynn has relied on them this season out of necessity, hoping they will be the experienced players to help bring on another batch of youngsters from the Riccarton conveyor belt.
 
However Templeton, who didn't feature in May's cup final win, has done the exiting prospect thing before. Now he needs to kick on, get regular football, and a chance to win trophies and push his way into Craig Levein's Scotland squad.
 
His choice on Friday gave him two options. 
 
Option one was to stay at Hearts. Last season was seen as successful due to the Cup win, which makes it easy to forget that Hearts were scrambling around the bottom six at one stage, and spluttered to a less than emphatic 5th place finish. On the evidence of their squad and performances this season so far, 5th place again might be seen as a decent target.
 
It is a tough ask to expect any team to win a trophy two years on the bounce, and outside the Old Firm no-one has managed it since Aberdeen took home two in a year in 1989/90. Even then that was in the same season, the last consecutive season trophy wins was again the Dons in 1985 and 1986, ironically the latter coming at the expense of Alex MacDonald's Hearts.
 
The biggest criticism of the Gorgie club is that they don't build on their successes. Craig Levein led the Jambos to two 3rd place finishes but when he left the side stumbled rather than getting closer to Celtic and Rangers. When Romanov splashed the cash and had Hearts as Cup winners and into the Champions League qualifiers, again they failed to build on it and within two seasons were in the bottom six.
 
Once more, with the club riding on the crest of a wave, they have made it clear the chequebook is locked away, and new manager John McGlynn has to try and build another team from within.
 
Although the sentiment is probably correct - after the trouble with HMRC last season and the struggle to pay players' wages on time, it makes sense for the club to be prudent and use what they already have. Hearts also finished second in last season's youth league and there are a number of promising youngsters waiting to fill the first team so they're not that short of talent.
 
However, option two open to David Templeton was a move to Ibrox. They may be a third division side these days, but they still contest the same domestic cups and, at the moment, weighing up the two squads there's more likely to be blue ribbons on trophies in May than Maroon ones.
 
Also, despite dropping down to the fourth tier, Templeton may just find he catches Scotland manager Craig Levein's eye more than he managed to while plying his trade in Edinburgh.
 
Levein has already said it will be more difficult for Rangers players to be picked while they are in the lower leagues. However, he knows he can't ignore them. They remain one of the biggest clubs in the country, they are still live on TV regularly with the ESPN cameras visiting Ibrox on Sunday, and on Monday the seeded League Cup draw ensures Rangers will come out of the hat alongside SPL opposition. It may even be a Hearts-Rangers tie, which will either disprove or validate some of the opinions in this article.
 
If Rangers start knocking out SPL opposition regularly, then it makes it harder to say their players aren't good enough for Scotland when we all know they are certainly talented enough.
 
Templeton's profile has just gone up. He's at a bigger club, arguably playing in a better team, more journalists will be talking about him and pushing him for a Scotland place if he's playing well, he'll be playing in front of more fans and getting used to performing under more pressure, and although it's too early to know the details he'll likely be earning better money for his troubles.
 
His choice looks not only the more lucrative option, but also the more exciting one. Rangers may be at the bottom now, but they are on the up, they are a realistic challenger for the domestic cups, and they remain a huge club.
 
Anyone who questions his sanity or ambition should answer the question: What were his other options? 
 
He may have scored at Anfield, but it takes more than that to net a move to the English Premiership.
 
No Championship or foreign clubs made any firm moves to get him.
 
If he's wishing to stay in Scotland and stay within the radar of the national manager, then where else could he go? Had Celtic went for him they'd probably have got him, but they didn't. Dundee United don't have the money, Aberdeen are into their 17th season without a trophy so they're hardly a stick-on certainty to be increasing anyone's medal collection.
 
Of course Rangers have no guarantee of success either. They're odds on for promotion and a step closer back to the SPL, but premier opposition may come too early with them still struggling to get to grips with Peterhead and Berwick Rangers. The transfer embargo will hit them hard and it remains to be seen if Ally McCoist has built a squad to last until the chequebook can be opened again in 2014.
 
However, in this game of stick or twist for Templeton, standing still may not have been the safe option afterall. He who dares, wins. Templeton has taken a risk, but if he's got a medal round his neck and the Scotland shirt on his back, then who will be able to argue with his decision then?
 
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