GOLDEN boot hero Jack Leitch is hoping his performance at this year’s International Children’s Games (ICGs) can help him land a place in Motherwell’s first team.
The son of former Motherwell midfielder Scott Leitch banged in 12 goals at the ICGs in Manama, Bahrain, as Team Lanarkshire scooped gold.
Now the Dalziel High School pupil’s next target is following in his father’s footsteps at Fir Park.
Jack, 14, said: “It is a big season coming up because I will be playing for Motherwell under-17s having played at under-15 level.
“I am hoping to go professional at some point but will now just concentrate on playing for the under-17s.
“I definitely want to eventually play for the first team at Motherwell.
“A lot of youngsters at the club have broken through into the first team and I would like to be one of them.”
Team Lanarkshire cruised through their group at the Games, securing notable victories over Uzhgorod (Ukraine) and Dutch outfit Alkmaar before drawing 3-3 with Plock (Poland) in a game played in temperatures reaching a scorching 40 degrees.
Hungarian team Soprum were comfortably defeated, 6-0, in the quarter-finals before the Lanarkshire lads endured their toughest test of the competition in the last four.
Midfielder Jack continued: “We had some excellent victories, the standard of football was high and a lot of good teams were there.
“The match against Plock was tricky because of the heat.
“It was hard to breath and it took a bit of time to get used to the high temperatures.
“Baghdad in the semi-final were a really good team.
“They scored first and then we had a player sin-binned which meant we had four outfield players in the heat!
“But we managed to get back into it and take the match into extra-time and my mate at Motherwell, Fraser Johnstone, scored a screamer to take us into the final.”
Despite getting only a 20-minute rest before the final, it did not affect the lads as they cruised to a 5-1 victory over local favourites Manama.
Jack, whose favourite Motherwell player is Keith Lasley, added: “It was a brilliant feeling to win.
“The squad got on really well and this helped on the park.
“We played to each other’s strengths which made it easier to beat teams and defend well as a team.”
Before Jack begins pre-season training he is planning on cheering the Steelmen to victory in their Europa League match against Breidablik tomorrow night.
And the teenager believes his heroes will be too good for the Icelandic side.
“I’ve got my ticket in my room and will be going to the game,” he said.
“I don’t think they are up to much so hopefully Motherwell will win easily.”