Banton urged to prove he has the desire to bounce back from Luton exit
Outgoing striker Zane Banton has been urged to come back strongly by Luton manager Nathan Jones after his release from Luton Town last weekend.
The attacker, who turned 21 yesterday, came through the ranks at Kenilworth Road, signing his first pro deal back in September 2013 under then manager John Still.
However, he only went on to make 14 appearances during his four years at the club, with a number of loan spells, including one at St Albans recently.
On his reasons behind opting against offering Banton a new deal, Jones said: “If I’m honest, especially in light of what happened last Thursday (defeat to Blackpool), I think some tough decisions were needed to be made and Zane is a tough one.
“If he really wants to have a career in football he can and he will have one, it’s just how much he wants it.
“I want to get this club to the highest level possible and I want to move it forward at the safest, quickest rate that is possible.
“I can’t keep doing the same things with certain people and sooner or later certain things they have to do for themselves and that’s one of the things Zane found a little bit harder than others.
“It wasn’t anything to do with ability, we wish him all the best, he’s a lovely lad, wasn’t problematic in any way.”
It had looked like Banton would make a real impact this season after he featured four times in the latter stages of the last campaign, impressing with every appearance.
However, he missed Town’s defeat at Northampton due what Jones described at the time as a ‘lack of discipline’ and although signed a new one year deal in the summer, didn’t feature at all in Luton’s League Two matches this season, with his four games coming in the Checkatreade Trophy.
Jones added: “For Zane to get the best out of his career, certain things have to kick in his mind and once that does, then he can have a career. But I want to invest my time in taking the club forward as quickly as possible.”
“I want him to do well, but the country is littered with players who have ability but just don’t quite make it for some reason or another.
“Now it’s a privilege to be a professional footballer, it’s not a god given right.
“You have to do everything in your power to make sure you are doing everything you can to be a player, to take yourself forward and if you do that then Luton Town’s a very, very good place for you to learn your trade, if you don’t then we have to look elsewhere.”