Justin can’t wait to test himself with the Young Lions

Hatters defender James Justin
Hatters defender James Justin

Hatters defender James Justin can’t wait to test himself against some of the best young talents in the country when he joins up with the England U19 squad today.

The 19-year-old, who has come through the youth system at Kenilworth Road having joined the Town at the age of seven, is one of four newcomers in the 23-strong group who flew to Spain this morning.

To get the chance to learn from national team coaches and train with players from the top clubs in the country is a fantastic opportunity for me.

James Justin

Justin joins Premier League youngsters Tom Edwards and Josh DaSilva, of Stoke and Arsenal respectively, plus Swindon’s Will Henry, with the Luton teenager and Henry, the only players selected from outside the Premier League and Championship.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Justin said: “I’m really excited about getting the call-up and I can’t wait to get out there now.

“To get the chance to learn from national team coaches and train with players from the top clubs in the country is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

Justin will have one familiar face alongside him, with full back Jay DaSilva also coming through the ranks at Luton, before switching to Chelsea in 2012.

On the fellow 19-year-old, who spend the latter stages of the season on loan at Charlton Athletic, playing 10 times, Justin added: “It’ll be nice to have someone there I know – Jay and I have been mates since we were youngsters in our junior teams.

“We’ve got some great memories of playing together, like when we beat Bayern Munich to win the Aarau Masters tournament as part of a really good Luton U11s team.

“This will be another to add to the collection, but it’s a chance I really want to make the most of and continue my overall development.”

Justin’s 40 appearances for the Hatters this season will have boosted Town’s coffers too as the EFL confirmed a £750,000 cash boost to clubs who have introduced young English players into their starting line-ups during the 2016/17 season.

The incentive scheme has committed a total of £2.25 million over the course of three seasons for those clubs who provide starting opportunities in EFL fixtures for players under the age of 21 and who are eligible to play for England (or Wales for Cardiff City and Newport County).

Significantly, it is clubs in League One and League Two who will profit most, with League Two teams earning £304,000 and League One clubs £294,000.