Jack Lester has seen his fair share of precocious footballing talents, so it should come as a huge fillip for Joe Rowley that the boss rates him so highly.
The new Chesterfield boss has worked with the best of Nottingham Forest’s young stars over the past four years and is in a good position to comment on potential.
He believes a player’s future will be determined by his character, and from what he’s seen of 18-year-old Rowley, the future could be exciting.
“He’s got a bright future, he has great energy, spots a pass - I really like him,” said Lester.
“It all starts with the character of the player, it really does.
“There’s a lot of talent out there and I’ve worked with a lot, some of them haven’t made it because the character wasn’t there.
“He has the right character for me, he’ll only get better.
“It’s down to Joe. Has he got the potential? One hundred per cent.”
Rowley set tongues wagging last season with his displays, before his 18th birthday, in first team action under Gary Caldwell.
He was expected to play a big part during the 2017/18 campaign but broke his collar bone on the club’s pre-season tour and missed the few couple of months.
But Lester threw him back into action in midweek in a right midfield role against Rotherham United in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Previously he’s featured up front or behind the strikers and Lester likes the youngster’s adaptability.
“I see him being quite versatile, that will be one of his strengths going forward,” he said.
“I think you can put him anywhere across that midfield and he’d cope quite well, you could put him in and around the strikers.
“I think that’s one of his strengths, I don’t think we’re in a rush to pigeon hole him in a position.
“Players who can play numerous positions are very valuable in this league.”
A couple of clubs at a higher level were said to be monitoring the teen before he signed a pro deal at the Proact towards the end of last season.
Lester feels staying put is the best course of action for Rowley.
“He’ll have an opportunity to progress here, there’s a pathway here for players, it’s the right place for him at the moment,” he added.