YORK City striker Michael Rankine believes his kid cousin Danny Rose is in pole position for the Premier League’s Goal of the Season contest.
Doncaster-born Rose, 19, shot to national prominence this week when his spectacular volley set Tottenham on their way to a first league victory over North London rivals Arsenal in ten years.
The game also represented Rose’s top-flight debut and elder relation Rankine was delighted for the former Leeds United trainee.
Rankine and Rose’s mothers are sisters and the footballing pair still enjoy a close relationship, speaking to each other on the phone every day.
Earlier in the season, a Rankine pile-driver at Cambridge United was hailed as the goal of the FA Cup’s second round, having been captured by ITV’s cameras.
But, after watching his family’s teenage prodigy thump a tenth-minute wonder-strike past Gunners ’keeper Manuel Almunia on Sky Sports, a proud Rankine conceded Rose’s effort was better.
He said: “It was a brilliant goal and very exciting. I was as surprised as anyone when he scored a 25-yard volley but I’m ecstatic for him.
“I watched it with my girlfriend and little boy, who was running around the room shouting ‘Dan-Dan’. I think it was a better goal than mine because he hit it on the volley and that’s a difficult technique.
“In my opinion, it will be hard to beat for Goal of the Season.
“When I heard that he was playing, I rang him up and told him to be positive and to get his shots away but I didn’t expect him to fire one in like that.”
Rankine is also hoping his cousin can repeat his heroics against Chelsea at White Hart Lane this evening with both players being big fans of Blues’ title rivals Manchester United.
The former Scunthorpe and Rushden frontman added: “He’s buzzing so, fingers crossed, he starts today and can help Manchester United win the championship.”
Being five-and-a-half years older, Rankine recognised Rose’s footballing development from an early age and always felt he could be destined for the top, saying: “He used to come to my mum’s house to stay when he was younger and, when we used to play on the field, you could see he had something.
“He was always a talented boy with a good left foot on him.
“When he was at Leeds, he was one of the best academy players and was in front of Fabian Delph but he didn’t really get a chance there.”
The cousins’ uncle, Mark Rankine, enjoyed a distinguished Championship career with Wolves and Preston, and Rose will now be hoping to build on a stunning start to his life as a professional footballer.
Commenting on his potential, Rankine said: “He’d already played and scored for England under 21s before playing in the Premier League and, usually, you need to be playing first-team football in the Championship at least to do that. But (England U21s coach) Stuart Pearce saw something in him that others are seeing now.”