For fans and players alike, Saturday’s Scottish Cup final victory brought to an end an emotionally draining season for Rangers Football Club.

Some seasons seem longer than others. From July until the final week of May, it has been intense with zero respite from important games. That is to be expected at a club like Rangers, but you have to journey back to 07/08 to find the last time Rangers played so many games and had to leave so much blood, sweat and tears on the pitch.

Few would have been surprised to see Rangers falter at Hampden following the toil of the previous week. Yet there was zero evidence of a hangover from the heat and heartbreak in Seville. Rangers looked as fit and fresh in extra time of their 65th game as they did on day one of the season.

The win at Hampden was a form of therapy for the scarring from Spain. Many dreaded what could happen in the second final in four days and Hearts fans salivated at facing a Rangers team that had to play to the death in midweek and carry the burden of not bringing the trophy home. Instead, the players dug deep at Hampden and a first Scottish Cup Final win in 13 years was the perfect way to ensure Rangers fans have a happy memory to end the season with.

It's a testament to the strength of the players that they picked themselves up to go again. A number will have played their last game for Rangers and it is heartening that they will leave with another piece of silverware.

It shows the quality of leadership in place at the club and what Gio has fostered in a short period of time. When Steven Gerrard left, a large part of the concern in replacing him was where leadership in the club would fall. The roles in the coaching team were defined: Michael Beale led on tactical work, Gary McAllister was an arm around the shoulder of players, and Gerrard was the leader.

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The Scouser's personality demanded the aura of absolute control. Sometimes it was brash but it undoubtedly worked in building a squad and putting Rangers back on the map as a force. He was more than just a manager and not every potential replacement can fill that void.

Gio has undoubtedly brought his own stamp of leadership to Rangers. He doesn’t fit the mould of Gerrard. They seem vastly different characters. Much like the captain on the pitch, leadership doesn’t need to be loud and in-your-face.

For an introduction to the job halfway through the season, Giovanni has had to face a remarkable amount of challenging situations. Having to pick up the team after a battering from Hibs in the League Cup semi-final. Having to contend with a change to the winter break that was a huge inconvenience for Rangers. Going up against rivals that didn’t lose a league game during his time at the club. The most phenomenal European campaign that ended in agony. The death of Jimmy Bell. All thrown into six months.

In Rangers’ 150th year, there are few that can match this one for the rollercoaster of emotions. In Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Rangers have found a leader that has faced every twist, turn and heartbreak with dignity and class.

There have been no tantrums or outbursts. No petted lip or allowing heads to go down when things went wrong. As recently as the weekend, van Bronckhorst was presented with the opportunity to slaughter Willie Collum for his bizarre decisions. While acknowledging a penalty could have been given, he was calm and refused to be too strong in his criticism of the referee: the mark of a man in control of his emotions at the centre of an industry bathed in emotion.

Over his short spell as manager, van Bronckhorst has evolved and developed as a manager, but he has not changed as a person or a leader. There have been imperfections, but I feel more confident about his ability to manage Rangers now than I did when he walked in the door.

All eyes now turn to the board to see just what resources they give him in order to wrestle the title back from the other half of Glasgow.