Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to announce that promising youngster Lucas Smith has signed a professional contract until the summer.
The left-sided defender will continue his journey in a maroon jersey, with the chance to earn a further contract by playing for David McNeil's Under-18s and Liam Fox's B-Team between now and May.
With the club since childhood, Lucas has overcome a serious ACL injury that kept him out of football for almost two years - preventing him from earning a contract alongside his teammates at U16 level.
After two years of rehabilitation at the club, along with surgery, Lucas has made a roaring comeback at a key stage in his development.
The remarkable youngster attended our Balerno Performance School for over four years and continues to balance boots and books as he studies towards two Advanced Highers alongside his football.
Academy Director Andy Webster hailed Lucas's determination as an inspiration to young players.
Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, he said: “Lucas has shown incredible resilience over the past years to overcome such a serious injury. He is a fantastic example to all our young players in how to approach such a setback.
"He has become a regular for our BU18s squad over the past few months, and in doing so earned the opportunity to be offered a contract at the club. We hope to see him push on for the remainder of the season to earn himself a further deal.
"Lucas is an aggressive defender who is comfortable on the ball and shows great energy when in the wing-back role we have asked him to often play this year. Equally he has shown he is adept at stepping in to play centre-back.
"He impresses us every day by balancing his studies, with two Advanced Highers, alongside his football, showing that it is possible for young players to progress on the pitch and, in their own education journeys, off it. We look forward to seeing Lucas’ continued progression.”