MOTHERWELL starlet Jack Leitch can help provide the Steelmen with a Euro vision for next season.

The 18-year-old made his first start for the Steelmen in Saturday's 4-1 demolition of hapless Hearts, where he performed in harness with Las in the midfield boiler room.

And Fir Park skipper Keith Lasley has no doubt the talented teenager has got the pedigree to go far in the game.

Lasley starred with Leitch's father Scott, who is now head of Well's Youth Academy.

And he has no doubt that the emergence of Jack the lad is concrete proof of just how productive the Fir Park youth factory spearheaded by Leitch senior is.

The Motherwell captain said: "The Hearts game was Jack's first start for the club and he handled it really well.

"He has had a couple of substitute appearances behind him against Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup and then Aberdeen in the Premiership, in January, so to start was the next step for him.

"It was something of a poignant moment for me given I played alongside his dad Scott when I was coming through, but they are different styles of midfielder.

"Scott was the club captain here and a combative presence at the heart of our midfield.

"Jack is more of a creative type who likes to make a pass and fingers cross we did a decent job in their against Hearts.

"But I don't think there is any doubt that Jack has deserved his chance and I reckon he showed great maturity.

"But boys like young Jack are going to be increasingly important to us over the last 11 games.

"We have had a lot of players, including myself, performing with injury and at this stage it is great to be able to blood the energy and enthusiasm, that comes with a young pair of legs, into the side.

"But you look at the emergence of Jack and Stuart Carswell before him and we also had Christopher Cadden coming on, who is only 17, that just underlines the great job that is being done at the Youth Academy by Scott Leitch and his coaching staff."

The Well skipper has not been able to train properly since he sustained a knee injury against Partick Thistle back on February 15, when he suffered a knee twist and bruising to the bone.

But the 34-year-old, who has continued to lead his side out by playing through the pain barrier, is due to return to full training on Thursday.

Lasley will be in his usual place at the heart of the Lanarkshire midfield when his side head to Hibs on Saturday.

And he said: "To be honest it could have been a lot worse against Thistle and as time goes on I am getting back to full fitness.

"But at this stage in the season you always need to grit your teeth a bit and we have a few boys in the same state as myself."