Rangers-bound Jake Hastie is remaining tight-lipped on his impending move to Ibrox – but admits he has been left dazed by his whirlwind rise to the top.
The Light Blues confirmed the worst kept secret in Scottish football on Wednesday as they announced the Motherwell youngster will arrive on a four-year contract in the summer.
The long-awaited seal of approval came just three hours after it was revealed the 20-year-old winger had been nominated for PFA Scotland’s young player of the year award.
But Hastie – wearing a Motherwell tracksuit as he joined Fir Park team-mate David Turnbull, current Gers star Ryan Kent and Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson for the nomination unveiling at a Glasgow hotel – was in no mood to talk about next season.
However, he did pay tribute to Well boss Stephen Robinson and Alloa manager Jim Goodwin for the show of faith that has allowed him to swap playing at Recreation Park for pulling on a Rangers shirt within six months.
He was sent out on loan by Robinson last summer with the promise that if he impressed for the Ladbrokes Championship part-timers, he would be rewarded with a first-team chance on his return in January.
Robinson proved to be as good as his word and Hastie has not looked back with his impressive displays now securing his Ibrox switch.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” he said as his nomination was announced. “It’s been a whirlwind few months for me. It’s been crazy but I’ve just tried to focus on my football.
“I’m not here to talk about (Rangers) I’m just here to talk about my nomination.
“But since coming back from Alloa in January things have gone so well. I worked hard while I was on loan and when I came back I got my chance. I’ve just worked hard and I’ve got to thank the manager for giving me that chance.
“He told me before I left that if I did well at Alloa, he’d give me my chance when I came back and he did. I’ve tried to repay him because he’s been absolutely outstanding with me.
“The spell at Alloa helped mature me. Jim Goodwin kept me working hard. He told me if I played well there I’d get my chance at Motherwell and he was brilliant with me too.
“It got me used to playing in front of crowds and stuff.
“Having done that, I came back to Fir Park confident I could make the step up to the Premiership. I’ve always believed in my own ability and that’s allowed me to do what I’ve done so far.
“I know I need to keep my feet on the ground though.
“I’ve managed to focus on my football (amid all the speculation). I just let it go in one ear and out the other while keeping my head down and working hard.
“That’s the best way to do it, focus on the football and let everything else take care of itself.”
Gerrard admits he is overjoyed to have landed one of Scotland’s most highly-rated youngsters.
The Scotland Under-21 player has scored seven goals in 14 appearances since rejoining Well in January and Gerrard said: “We’re delighted to be able to add Jake to the squad next season.
“He is a talented young player who has performed well for Motherwell in the second half of this season.
“We are always looking to add individuals to our group of players who will improve us and Jake will undoubtedly do that.”
Hastie becomes the Light Blues second pre-contract capture following the signing of Jordan Jones from Kilmarnock and director of football Mark Allen added: “We are committed to improving the strength of our squad and this is part of that process.
“There will be some departures and we hope for a few arrivals which will add greater quality.”
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