Hatters striker Josh McQuoid believes it would be ‘scandalous’ if Luton were to be fined for their Checkatrade Trophy stance this term.
With rules stating club’s must pick their strongest side during the competition, including a minimum of five ‘first team’ players in the starting 11, boss Nathan Jones has made 11 changes for each of the three games.
If we get fined or whatever, I think it’s scandalous really, because those young boys wouldn’t be getting their chance to show what they can do.Josh McQuoid
The club have been asked to give their ‘observations’ to the EFL over team selection, and could face a fine of up to £5,000 now the group stages have finished.
However, Jones’ decision to award seven academy graduates their first team debuts, including Arthur Read in last night’s 3-1 defeat, has paid off handsomely, with Town progressing to the knock out stages with a second place finish, beating both Gillingham and West Brom U23s.
When asked about any potential financial penalty, McQuoid said: “Nothing has really been said to us about it, the gaffer has mentioned it a few times, but it has given the young players a chance and they’ve stepped up.
“We’ve progressed, we’ve got through, we’ve beaten West Brom, we’ve beaten Gillingham and they gave a good account of themselves (against Millwall).
“The people who are running this competition have to look at that because if we get fined or whatever, I think it’s scandalous really, because those young boys wouldn’t be getting their chance to show what they can do.
“Apart from that they’re probably just going to play in the reserves or maybe in the youth team, that’s no good for them.
“They need to step up to this level and show what they can do, like they have the whole competition.”
McQuoid was quick to praise the Luton chief too for his belief in young players, with the likes of Akin Famewo, Frankie Musonda and Tyreeq Bakinson starting all three matches in the competition, with James Justin now in the first team after playing the first game at Gillingham.
Having been there himself when coming through the ranks at Bournemouth earlier in his career, the attacker continued: “The gaffer obviously believes in young talent. It’s always nice to see because, when I was younger, I was always just waiting for my chance.
“I thankfully got it and it’s good to see them getting it now and hopefully they can push on from it.
“You see all the young talent coming through. They’ve come up from youth team football and there was youth team on the bench as well, coming on, so it’s great for the club to see that.
“It’s good for everyone, it’s good for them to get a bit of experience against may be a better standard of football, more men’s football, so it will only do them good.”
Should Luton go all the way, then there is the caveat of a final at Wembley, something that McQuoid has experienced, scoring at the home of English football for Peterborough, when the Posh beat Chesterfield 3-1 in the final of the then Johnstone’s Paint Trophy back in March 2014.
Although some way off, he added: “It would be brilliant for them (younger players). You can’t explain it, playing at Wembley. It’s what you dream of. We’re obviously a long way off it but if we were to get that far it would be great.
“It’s another way for the smaller clubs to get to Wembley. When I was at Peterborough, we didn’t have the best season in the league, but we ended up getting to Wembley and winning a trophy so, for everyone involved in that, it was a great day.
“For me, it was pleasing to score as well. I think it’s a good competition and if we can get that far it will be a great achievement for the club.”