Luton chief will give youth a chance once more in Checkatrade Trophy

Town U18 striker Connor Tomlinson
Town U18 striker Connor Tomlinson

Hatters chief Nathan Jones will look to give youth a chance once more this evening when his side take on Brighton & Hove Albion U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Luton boss has shown his intentions during previous group stage matches, giving the likes of Connor Tomlinson, Arthur Read and Jack James to name but three their first team debuts in the competition.

If they’ve done well, they’ll be included as we want to give them that test, but they have to earn that as well.

Nathan Jones

He won’t hesitate to do the same tonight as well, saying: “Anyone who’s done well for the youth team will get an opportunity and we’ll look to include them in the squad.

“But we don’t just include them. If they’ve done well, they’ll be included as we want to give them that test, but they have to earn that as well.

“We’re looking to push all of our young players on. If they play well, they’ll get pushed, we won’t let anyone just diminish, or let anyone stagnate.”

Tomlinson in particular has caught the eye for the youth team in recent weeks, scoring plenty of goals, plus notching two in the pre-season friendly against Bedford Town as well.

Jones continued: “If they need pushing they get pushed, it’s no different with Connor, with Drew (Richardson), with young (Lewis) Swindell, (Jake) Peck, all the second years and even the first years.

“We look to push the youth team, we look to play above the level, so they’re getting good exposure and experience early and that will continue to happen.”

It could be that attacker Josh Neufville, who signed his first professional contract yesterday gets an immediate chance to impress, with Jones continuing: “He’s been on our radar for a long time with the attributes he’s got,

“We’ve converted him and wanted him to be something that we see being in the first team and he’s done fantastically well in recent weeks.

“When he’s trained with us he’s done really well, so it’s just a natural progression really.

“We believe in youth here, we believe there’s a pathway, all he needs now is that test and a daily test really being involved with us, so signing that contract now will ensure he gets that.”