Hatters Youth Academy and Development manager Andy Awford has praised the efforts of Supporters of Luton Youth Development (SoLYD) after the club’s U18s reached the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup last week.
Cameron McJannet’s stunning strike was enough to secure a 1-0 win at Oldham Athletic, but the side were able to prepare properly, including having an overnight stay, thanks to SoLYD’s generous contribution.
Awford said: “The boy were privileged in the fact we were able to treat it like a first team fixture and go overnight.
“We’re really grateful for SoLYD, who stepped in and covered the cost of all the travel and hotel and coach, so what a fantastic gesture from them.
“I know they’ve done an awful lot before I came to the club to keep the academy going while we were out of the league, they helped massively.
“This was a fantastic gesture from those guys and for me, Paul Driver and the club and the academy in particular, we can’t thank them enough.”
“This was a fantastic gesture from those guys and for me, Paul Driver and the club and the academy in particular, we can’t thank them enough.”Andy Awford
Hatters are now up against Preston North End in the next round on Tuesday evening and on the victory over Oldham, Awford said: “It was windy and rain, awful conditions to play in, the pitch was very, very, very heavy, and difficult, but both teams got on with it.
“I said afterwards, if our first team had gone there on a cold Tuesday evening, and put in a professional performance got a clean sheet and won 1-0 in that type of game, you’d say ‘well done, that was gritty win.’
“I understand youth football is all about development and we want to get these young kids through the system, but the remit was to win the game and we did.
“I think we edged it in terms of chances and possession and how we controlled it
“Missing the penalty didn’t help, it would have been a bit easier had we scored it. But I’m delighted for Paul Driver and the boys, if e can go to Preston and look for same sort outcome, that would be great.”
The winning strike saw McJannet unleash a wonderful volley into the top corner after his original free kick had been charged down, and on the goal, Awford added: “It was a great goal too, his technique to keep that down and get over the top of it was fantastic. It got you out of your seat and was one of those goals you jump up at.”