Howells overjoyed to see Hatters on their way back up
Former Hatter Jake Howells is thrilled to see the club finally getting back to where he believes they should be after winning promotion from League Two last season.
The 27-year-old, who spent almost a decade with Luton between 2007-2016, still has a huge affinity towards the club he made 334 appearances for, to sit 16th in the all-time list.
Like the rest of Town’s supporters, he was overjoyed to see them back in the third tier of English football, saying: “I’m a fan now and I think it’s outstanding.
“They recruited really, really well last season, bringing in the players they did and they deserved to go up.
“It was unfortunate they didn’t win the league, but the main aim was to get promoted from League Two and they’re starting to get to where they should be now I think.
“I’ve not seen the best times, dropping out of the league, but they’re going in the right direction.
“It’s a real nice thing and it’s quite rewarding for me personally, that I was part of, not the good times, but when we had minus 30 points and the real bad times.
“They were probably the worst kind of times the club has actually seen, but then being part of the success to push it on, the way it’s going now, in the right direction, it’s very rewarding.
“It’s a privilege for me to say I played over 300 games for the club. I’ve still got amazing memories, good and bad, but it’s great to see the club getting back and nice to say I put my name to putting it back there.”
Howells was part of the Town side the last time they played in League One back in May 2008, making his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield, as they were relegated.
He believes they can challenge at the right end this time though, saying: “It’s not going to be easy, as I think there are a lot of good sides there.
“I suppose I’m nervous like every fan out there, but you’ve got to be patient at the same time. We can’t expect another unbelievable season with so much success, but realistically you want to aim for the play-offs, so it’s very exciting.”
Even though his time at Luton came to an end under the stewardship of current boss Nathan Jones, being released at the end of the 2015-2016 campaign, Howells thinks the Welshman has done wonders at Kenilworth Road.
He said: “I know they’ve got the right manager in charge, I think he’s brilliant.
“Even my experience with Nathan Jones, his coaching sessions were one of the best I’ve seen and experienced.
“He’s got the right ethos of how they want to play and do everything right, so everything’s in place. “
Since leaving Luton, Howells has played for Eastleigh and Dagenham & Redbridge, before moving to Billericay this summer, but he still gets back to watch his old side in action.
He said: “I came down a few times last season, luckily enough I came to the games they won. I want to come more, but it’s so tough with my games at the same time.
“At home, even when I was there, it’s always been a fortress for Luton.
“I think people were scared to come to Kenilworth Road, as with the fans behind you, it’s a hard, hard place to go. The club is going in the right direction, this year will be exciting and hopefully I’ll get to come to a few games.”
Although the squad has been majorly revamped since Howells pulled on the orange shirt, he still has some connections remaining.
He added: “Pelly’s the only one, (Scott) Cuthbert went, Glen Rea was really good, Pottsy’s (Dan Potts) still there, El (Lee)has come back, but they’re all good lads and they’re all driven as well, which is nice.
“Sometimes going to a big club, some can just get overwhelmed and nothing really happens, but they seems to be top, top people .
“I know Simon Parsell and the kit man (Darren Cook), so not a load has changed, but enough has changed since I’ve been there.
“Everyone’s still amazing and they’re great people.”