Stech has no issues after losing his place for promotion run-in

Marek Stech and James Shea with Town goalkeeping coach Kevin Dearden
Marek Stech and James Shea with Town goalkeeping coach Kevin Dearden

Keeper Marek Stech admitted manager Nathan Jones got it right when he made the call to change goalkeepers during the latter stages of last season.

After starting the first 38 games of the League Two campaign, Stech lost his place to James Shea for the final eight matches, having to watch on from the bench as Town sealed promotion.

Boss Jones felt the Czech will be a better player for the experience and Stech agreed, saying: “I think sometimes when you play every single minute of every single game, you will go through some stages through the season when it’s up and downs.

“It’s never going to be perfect, you’re going to make a mistake, so I think it was good what he did.

“He pulled me over, we spoke about it, he said, ‘I signed Sheasy as well, I want to see how he does in the games.’

“So now he knows that he’s got two good, very solid keepers, so if any one of us gets injured, the other can come in straight away.

“It’s very important, especially when you go to the next level, better teams, bigger stadiums and better players.”

Although Stech, who extended his contract until 2020 recently, finished the season as number two, he is determined to be back in the starting line-up when Luton begin their League One campaign at Portsmouth on Saturday, August 4.

With that in mind, the former Yeovil and West Ham stopper knows how crucial pre-season is, as he continued: “I played most part of the season, he (Shea) came in for the last six, seven games, so it’s very important and I looked after myself through the summer.

“You come back, do as best you can in the training, off the field, and especially in the games, as it’s very important for me.

“I came into this football club, I extended my contract, it means I want to stay here, I want to do the best I can for this football club.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and starting in goal as the first choice.”

Stech could find himself lining up behind a new-look back-line this season, with Sonny Bradley and Matty Pearson joining the club, while Scott Cuthbert and Johnny Mullins both moved on to pastures new.

Speaking about how the signings have adapted, Stech said: “Looking at the training, they’re very solid, very experienced.

“Matty coming from Barnsley and Sonny from Plymouth, they’ve got loads of games under their belt.

“They’re big, they’re strong, they’re very experienced and I think that’s what we need, especially when you step up another level, that’s the experience you need to show in the games.

“There were a few different formations, this year, it could be four at the back, three at the back.

“We’ve tried a couple of different formations in the training and it’s getting used to them, but once we have the six, seven (friendly) games, that will come.”