Kevin Gallen: Kioso has the right attitude to be a success at Luton Town

Peter Kioso during his time at Dunstable Town - pic: Chris White.
Peter Kioso during his time at Dunstable Town - pic: Chris White.

Transfer window arrival Peter Kioso has the right character and attitude to become a success at Kenilworth Road according to former Hatter Kevin Gallen.

The ex-Luton striker worked with Kioso when the right back was at Dunstable Town earlier in his career, before earning a move to National League side Hartlepool.

Gallen had been brought in to the coaching staff by then Blues boss Tony McCool, an ex-Town youth coach himself, and saw enough in Kioso’s displays in the Southern League to make his mind up.

He said: “He had just been released by MK Dons and his brother Gedeon was the left back at the time, so he brought him down.

“Fair play to him, because he’d just been released by a club and thinking that his career was probably over.

“To his credit, he came down to a team that wasn’t getting paid, they had no money and he took the opportunity to play men’s football and by the looks of it now, it’s worked out really well for him.

“When he was at Dunstable, he was no problems for Tony, you could rely on him.

“He’s got good mobility, he’s obviously improved since then, he had good pace, he was strong, he was aggressive.

“If I would say what he needed to improve on, and he might still need to improve on, is his quality on the ball, but the attitude is there, the work-rate and the desire is there.

“Once you’ve got those three things, you’ve got the willingness to work hard, you become better and he obviously has.

“He will have to get better as the step up’s three divisions, but he’s got those three things, desire, work-rate and attitude, and they go a long way in football.”

There was one specific moment that Gallen remembered catching his eye when watching Kioso, as he said: “One stand out thing he did after the first few games and I might have said it to the team afterwards, some of these kids now think a nutmeg is this, or a dribble.

“But the ball went up in the air and Peter challenged a man, the winger, basically flattened him.

“Him doing that, was better than him doing a nutmeg I told them.

“It says a lot, that he’s up for the fight and up for going further in the game, so well played to Peter as he deserves all the credit and well done to him.”

The fact that Kioso decided to turn his hand to men’s football, for free as well, after being released by MK Dons, was another impressive sign for Gallen.

He said: “I was lucky enough it didn’t happen to me until I was older, you can take it when you’re older, but when you’re 17, 18 and you’ve been let go, you probably think that it’s the end of your life really, as that’s how much football means.

“But he came, he regrouped, the opportunity for him to go and play men’s football for a season, it’s a big opportunity.

“I see lads now, they’re playing from U12s and they’re now 21, 22 and they’re still playing academy football.

“They’ve not played men’s football, not played in the real world where there’s a lot riding on it.

“There’s points on it for starters, there’s peoples livelihoods on it and it matters, it matters much more to these people.

“There’s fans there as well who it matters to, so it’s a great learning curve for these lads to go out and play.

“I would always recommend if you get released, go and play men's football in non-league, as believe me when scouts hear and football clubs hear there’s a 17, 18-year-old playing regularly in men's football, they come down to watch.

“He took that with both hands, he did a season and then he got a move to Hartlepool where that’s another step up for him.

“It’s non-league, but I played in non-league with Luton, it’s a tough, tough league and people want to win.

“It’s a great grounding for him and now he’s got his move to Luton who are in the Championship, absolutely credit to the lad.”

The ex-Town striker, who also himself had spells away from his London roots during his career, playing for Plymouth, Huddersfield and Barnsley to name three clubs, was also impressed Kioso had pursued his dream by heading up north to Hartlepool.

On the decision, he said: “It was massive, as you talk about comfort zone, he was at MK Dons, the youth team, everything’s done for you these days.

“He was out of his comfort zone when he went to Dunstable and had the opportunity to go to Hartlepool which is miles away and then you’re massively out of your comfort zone.

“You’re away from your family, so for him to come back to somewhere probably near where his parents live, he’s got to grasp this with both hands and I really hope it works out for him.”

Gallen wasn’t sure if Luton boss Graeme Jones would use him in the Championship immediately, but didn’t think he would let anyone down if put into the side.

He added: “He’s got the desire, he’s tough, we’ll see, time will tell, it might take time to settle, he might grab it with both hands straight away.

“I’m not going to put any pressure on him, you’ve come from non-league, you’re in the Championship, Luton are having a tough time at the moment.

“Whether it’s the right time to blood him in straight away we’ll have to wait and see, you’ve got to be patient.

“I think he’s one for the future, but he can also play a bit now as well.”