Awford wants to keep the best young talent at Kenilworth Road

Andy Awford
Andy Awford

New Hatters Youth Academy and Development Manager Andy Awford has set his sights on making sure the brightest talents remain at Kenilworth Road in the future.

Recent seasons have seen the likes of Cauley Woodrow, the Dasilva brothers, and most recently 11-year-old Charlie Patino move away from the club to head to the bright lights of the Premier League.

“I don’t want Luton to be a football club that produces players for others.”

Andy Awford

Although happy Town are producing such talented youngsters, Awford now wants to see them pull on a Hatters shirt rather than move elsewhere.

He said: “They all don’t play in Luton’s first team, that’s something we want to do.

“All those players mentioned are fantastic players in their own right, but they’ve gone on to other football clubs and I don’t want Luton to be a football club that produces players for others.

“We want them in our first team and that’s down to us to create that right environment so that if they get that opportunity, if their heads are turned by the big boys, we can maybe offer them a pathway into our first team.

“We want to keep the players here a little bit longer so that can we see them in our first team which will benefit everybody.

Awford is well aware that just by rising through the ranks doesn’t give youngsters a divine right to play for Luton, he knows with a manager like John Still, they have a real opportunity.

He continued: “He’ll always give young players a chance if they’re good enough and that’s the key to it, you’ve got to be good enough.

“He’s not just going to pick them for the sake of picking them, that just won’t happen and rightly so.”