Timing was finally right for sought after Jones to make his first step into management

New Luton boss Graeme Jones felt the ‘timing was right’ to make his maiden venture into first team management with the Hatters.

Wednesday, 8th May 2019, 2:31 pm
New Luton boss Graeme Jones in his role at West Bromwich Albion
New Luton boss Graeme Jones in his role at West Bromwich Albion

The 49-year-old was unveiled to the press this morning, after a career so far which has seen him be assistant manager to Roberto Martinez at Swansea, Wigan, Everton and Belgium.

He then headed to West Bromwich Albion to work with Darren Moore in the summer, with the pair relieved of their duties in March, despite the Baggies sitting fourth in the Championship.

By then, Luton had already their intentions clear for Jones to replace previous manager Nathan Jones, who had joined Stoke City back in January.

After over a decade as a number two, Jones is now ready for the hotseat at Kenilworth Road, as on his decision to finally go solo, he said: “The approach was made on the ninth of January and my initial thought was, ‘very interested, it’s an up and coming club.’

“I spoke to Gary (Sweet, chief executive) and quite quickly I felt that it was going to be the right club for me.

“Obviously the 2020 board of directors are supporters, they’ve had a history of backing their managers through the years and that appealed.

“I’ve had many offers, I could have done this on maybe five or six occasions, and I think timing in life is everything.

“I had a young family at that time, I’d sat in the passenger seat with Roberto for 12 years, and I’ve seen how much of an infringement that was on his personal life.

“I didn’t really want that at that time, that was one side of the story, the other side was I was heavily involved and committed with Roberto and Darren Moore and once I commit to something, I normally give it everything I’ve got.

“But my two sons are 20 and 22 now, they’ve got their own lives so the timing was correct for me.”

Town CEO Gary Sweet, who was alongside Jones, felt Luton were incredibly lucky to get a manager of his stature in the game.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted and almost blessed that Graeme has been offered five or six roles before but it’s Luton ultimately that he’s chosen.

“Maybe because we got our timing right, but there is a certain kinship in character between the club and the man.

“I think it’s a very, very good fit for us at this particular time, whether we were League One or Championship.

“A lot of people have suggested that taking managers who haven’t been managers is a risk, but I just don’t see it that way.

“If you look at Graeme’s CV, his history suggests that he’s probably one of the most experienced coaches that has ever managed Luton Town Football Club in its entire history.

"There aren't managers that we've had who have managed through to World Cup Finals, with the squad of players like Belgium had last year, but also the Premier League and Championship experience he's got.

"I think we're blessed."