18-year-old Jake Hastie started the season in a difficult position, with game time in Stephen Craigan’s high-flying U20s side fairly limited.
But in the past number of weeks, the midfielder has looked like a new player completely.
An electric threat going forward, Hastie has repaid his managers faith in him by becoming one of the standout players in the squad.
Scoring and assisting on a regular basis, the winger’s form was rewarded with a call-up to the first-team and a substitute appearance at Parkhead, as Mark McGhee’s side lost 2-0 to the Scottish Champions, but the youngster and his older teammates put in a strong, formidable performance.
The 18-year-old’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed by neither McGhee or Craigan, with both managers touching on the wingers form and work-rate.
Mark McGhee said: “Ross MacLean, David Ferguson, Jack McMillan and Jake Hastie acquitted themselves brilliantly.
“It’s such an exciting thing for us having these young players and imagine in a years time or 18 months time, and there’s others of course in the pipeline as well, we’ve got to keep getting them out in places like Parkhead.”
Stephen Craigan has overseen the youngster return to the U20s starting line-up and admitted he has really enjoyed watching him play.
The Northern-Irishman said: “For Jake it’s just about his self-belief. We have to give our youngsters as much game time as we possibly can but it’s up to them to go out there and make it happen.”
He added: “Jake has trained really well and I said to him a few weeks ago that I was really enjoying watching him training and I couldn’t wait to see him playing again and now he’s reaping the rewards of working hard and keeping his head down.
“Andy Boles, our strength and conditioning coach, has done a bit of extra work with him so he’s looking powerful, he’s looking strong.”
Jake himself is enjoying his football and he’s hoping that his good run can continue.
“It’s been a good run for me recently, and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment,” the youngster said, “so I hope that it continues for me.”
He added: “Playing under Stephen Craigan in the U20s has taught me a lot and coming on at Parkhead was an unforgettable moment for me.
“More than anything, it’s made me hungry to keep working hard.”
With a strong attitude and an ability to match, Jake Hastie is a name that may become familiar among Motherwell fans sooner rather than later.