Luton Town youngster James Justin has been recognised for his efforts on and off the pitch this season by being named in the League Football Education’s ‘The 11’ competition.
‘The 11’ recognises both football and academic progress of U18 players on apprenticeships at Football League clubs, assessing such factors as community and charity involvement.
Judged by LFE’s team of regional officers, the award is given on four occasions in the season to celebrate the holistic development of young players, a barometer which is also applied to the Apprentice of the Year Awards later in the season.
Justin has penned his first professional contract at Kenilworth Road this season after impressing in the club’s run to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals, plus featuring for the development squad too and joins players from Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Birmingham in the ’11’.
Carl Craner, the Hatters’ head of academy education and welfare, told the Hatters’ official website: “James is a fantastic character to have around the building.
“Both on and off the pitch, he has excelled this season and has been able to cope with the demands that being an apprentice brings.
“James has achieved excellent grades in the classroom and is the first second year apprentice to complete the NVQ qualification.
“He leads by example and shows a willingness to help and support his team mates, often staying behind in order to help them progress.
“He is a popular member of the group and is well liked by staff around the club and Central Bedfordshire College, where James is completing a BTEC (Level 3) in Sports Science.
“Away from his academic progress, James was offered an 18-month professional deal and has already been a part of the matchday squad and a named substitute at Exeter in December.
“With numerous outings for the development squad, James has a bright future at the club and I am delighted that I have had this chance to work with such a level headed and hard-working individual.”
Full 11: Alfie Egan (AFC Wimbledon); Ronan Hale (Birmingham City); Ethan Wassall (Derby County); Finn O’Mara (Gillingham); Liam Harris (Lincoln City); James Justin (Luton Town); Mitchell Curry (Middlesbrough); James Hammond (Northampton Town); Adam May (Portsmouth); George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday); Jake Phillips (Wrexham).