Wigan Athletic starlet Joe Gelhardt's latest heroics for England!

Joe Gelhardt
Joe Gelhardt

Joe Gelhardt took another huge step towards stardom on Wednesday night with a sensational goal inside 12 seconds on England Under-18 duty.

But his Wigan Athletic skipper Sam Morsy insists the 17-year-old will remain as grounded as ever – thanks to his upbringing both at home and in the Academy.

Gelhardt opened the scoring for England in their 3-2 victory in Austria, with a clinical near-post finish from a right-wing cross.

It was the Young Lions’ third victory inside a week, with Gelhardt scoring a brilliant brace – while wearing the captain’s armband – in the tour opener against Poland last Friday.

He must surely be hammering on Latics manager Paul Cook’s door ahead of Sunday’s televised Championship clash against Nottingham Forest at the DW Stadium.

And Morsy says there’s no danger of Gelhardt returning from international duty with his head in the clouds.

“Joffy’s been doing that in training for a while now, ever since he’s been training with the first team,” Morsy told the Wigan Post.

“He’s going to be a real player, and he’s just as impressive off the field as he is on it.

“Whenever (Latics Development Squad coach) Nick Chadwick brings his lads over to train with us, I’ve got to say their application is really, really good, really, really encouraging.

And I think you have to be that way, in this day and age, especially under this manager.

“I don’t think he’d entertain anything else, and that’s the way it should be.

“Young lads coming through and have to know where the line is and be able to toe that line.

“Thankfully that’s the case with all the lads coming through, and it’s great credit to the guys at the Academy for keeping their feet on the ground.”

Jensen Weir was also in the England Under-18 starting line-up, while Kyle Joseph, Luke Robinson (both Scotland), Scott Smith (Wales) and Bobby Jones (Republic of Ireland) have also been away with their countries during the last week or so.