Hatters' quartet head out on loan
Luton Town have loaned out four of their youngsters this afternoon, with Frankie Musonda, Craig King, Liam Gooch and Harry Bean all leaving for first team experience.
Teenage defender Musonda has joined Vanarama National League side Braintree Town on loan for an initial month.
The 19-year-old centre-half will link up with former Town coach Hakan Hayrettin, who took over as manager at the Essex club earlier this season.
Musonda, who skippered the club’s U18s to league and cup double success last year as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, could be in line for his Iron debut when they host Wrexham tomorrow.
Manager Nathan Jones said of the youngster, who has made eight senior appearances for the club: “Frankie has been pushing our more experienced centre-halves really hard in training in recent months, as well as learning from each game he played during the Checkatrade Trophy run.
“He’s also come up against some experienced league and Non-League strikers in development matches, and competing on a regular basis against them in competitive football at National League level with Braintree will further his development.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper King has joined fellow National League side Southport on a one-month deal ahead of their trip to Maidstone United tomorrow.
It’s the third spell away from Kenilworth Road for King, who has been at Met Police and Bishop’s Stortford previously, while this term, he made his senior debut for the club, with four appearances in the Checkatrade Trophy and been on the bench for the majority of League Two matches as understudy to Christian Walton.
Jones continued: “This is the next step up for Craig at an excellent standard of football, just one league below us. We rate him highly at our club and spending time at Southport will really aid his development.”
Fellow stopper Gooch will spend a month with Southern League Premier Division side Kettering Town, his second stint away, having played for Hitchin Town before Christmas.
The Stotfold-based stopper, who starred in last season’s U18s team, could make his debut for the Poppies on their trip to Weymouth on Saturday.
Hatters goalkeeper coach Kevin Dearden said: “Liam benefitted a lot from his spell with Hitchin earlier this season and this will be another great experience for him with a big club at Step 3 of the Non-League pyramid.”
Finally, youth defender Bean will join Southern Premier neighbours Dunstable Town on work experience.
Bean, 18, who can play in either full-back role or at centre-half, is the latest of Andy Awford and Paul Driver’s talented youngsters to be sent out to gain experience of senior men’s football.
The second-year scholar is due to stay with Tony Fontenelle’s side until the end of the season, although as with all work experience loans, the Hatters have an immediate recall option should the need arise.
Driver said: “Harry’s done really well in the youth team and development games against players his own age, but he’s also stepped up in the Beds Senior and Premier Cup matches when he’s had to deal with senior non-League players at places like Barton Rovers, Stotfold and Dunstable.
“Spending time at a club competing week in, week out at that level will give him great experience, coming up against men will also aid his physical development.”