Bradley recalls the surprise Zoom call to announce Nathan Jones' return as Luton boss celebrates a year in charge

Town captain couldn't stop grinning when he found out former manager had returned

Friday, 28th May 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 2:44 pm
Nathan Jones celebrates a year in charge of his second spell as Luton manager today
Nathan Jones celebrates a year in charge of his second spell as Luton manager today

Luton captain Sonny Bradley conceded that Nathan Jones’ return to the club as manager exactly a year ago today put a real smile on his face.

The Welshman, who celebrates his 47th birthday today, had controversially left Kenilworth Road in January 2019 to join Stoke City with the Hatters in the midst of a League One promotion battle that they eventually went on to win under interim boss Mick Harford, going up as champions.

Jones himself was then sacked by the Potters in November after just 10 months in charge, before being named as Town chief for a second spell after Graeme Jones had departed by mutual consent when the coronavirus pandemic forced the 2019-20 season to be suspended.

Under Jones, Luton produced a magnificent run of form to escape a relegation back to League One that had seemed certain, and then followed that up with their best points tally in the second tier since the 1981-82 season last term, achieving an impressive 12th placed finish.

Casting his mind back to when he and the rest of his team-mates found out Jones was back at the helm once more, Bradley said: “The whole squad was on a Zoom call and I think it was Gary Sweet (chief executive) speaking just about the return to football and putting the protocols in place.

"All of a sudden Gary said: ‘I just want to introduce you to your new manager.’

“It said 'Nathan Jones has joined the chat' and I put my camera away, I had a smile on my face, I was laughing and it was just a bit unexpected.

"No-one really knew about it and it was a shock.

“At the same time, there was excitement there because we knew what that meant for the squad.

“There’s been no looking back since that moment.

"We’ve pushed on, Nathan’s come in and we finished strong and stayed up, then this season we’ve gone to a new level.

“But yeah, it was funny and it made me laugh."

With Jones showing once more that he and Luton are the perfect fit for each other, Bradley, who penned a new contract himself this week, is excited about what the future holds, adding: "We’re coming back and the gaffer doesn’t stand still.

"He wants to push on and, with that ambition and that character, we can certainly do that.”