Jake Hastie has revealed that slogging round a running track while his mates were holidaying in Ibiza was the catalyst for the meteoric rise which led to his move to Rangers.
Last summer, Hastie was told by Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson he had to sharpen his fitness. He was then loaned out to Alloa for the first half of the season and his terrific form in the second half has been sufficient to lure Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
Hastie said: “I didn’t go on holiday last summer – even although all my mates were heading off to Ibiza.
“The gaffer told me I had to get fitter. So I was up at Dalziel running track because I wanted to make sure I was doing extra.
“It was something I knew I had to come back flying and ready to go because I only had a year left on my contract.
“I went on loan to Alloa and Jim Goodwin was brilliant with me and that helped come back ready to play for Motherwell.
“Then the gaffer gave me the chance to play in the Motherwell first team and I have really enjoyed it and managed to score a few goals, too.
His four-year deal at Rangers was announced yesterday and he added: “Now I think I’m ready for the next step. I have always believed in my ability and I have always known what I can do.
“I just want to play at the highest level possible.”
Hastie, nominated for PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year, did not want to discuss the Rangers move before the end of the season, preferring to concentrate on finishing strongly for Motherwell.
He added: “I haven’t let it bother me. I have just tried to get on with my football.”