Hatters award youngster Beckwith a development contract

Sam Beckwith in action during Luton's pre-season friendly with Bedford Town
Sam Beckwith in action during Luton's pre-season friendly with Bedford Town

Luton have announced that second year scholar Sam Beckwith has signed a long term development contract with the club.

The 17-year-old midfielder impressed manager Graeme Jones during a pre-season spent largely with the senior squad, where he featured in a number of first team pre-season friendlies.

Speaking to the official club website, Jones said: "I’m delighted that Sam has signed a professional contract with the club.

"He spent a period of time with the first team in the summer where he was not out of place technically, tactically, physically and mentally in every single area.

“He’s a left-footed, 6ft midfield player who is mobile, who can play, who is tactically aware – and they don’t come around every day of the week.

"So I’m delighted to tie Sam down and I’m looking forward to working closely with him in the future.”

Beckwith, who is from Lower Stondon and has now spent almost a decade at Kenilworth Road, said: "I’ve been here since I was Under-8s, and this is what I’ve wanted all along so I’m over the moon.

“Andy (Awford) and the academy coaches through all the age groups have been fantastic, I can’t thank them enough.

“It’s been a great experience over the past couple of months, playing in some of the friendlies and going to Portugal with the first team.

"I learned so much and I just want to carry on working harder and learning every day.”

Academy & development manager Andy Awford added: “First and foremost Sam’s the right type of person that we want at the football club, which is important to us all.

"As an apprentice and as a schoolboy before that, he’s shown really high levels of desire to get to the next level, which is good.

“His level of performance has also been really consistent in the youth team and when he’s stepped up into the development group, and where this year he’s had a little bit of an opportunity to be involved with the first team in pre-season and also a few training sessions, he’s done quite well.

“So he’s deserved the opportunity to earn that contract.

"The important thing now is keeping his feet on the ground and making sure that we are patient with him and allow him to develop at the required rate so that we can push him through hopefully in the next two or three years.”