Shea ready to challenge Stech for first team spot

Keeper James Shea has signed for Luton
Keeper James Shea has signed for Luton

New Luton signing James Shea knows full well he will have to put the work in if he wants to become Town’s number one this season.

The former AFC Wimbledon stopper penned a 12 month deal at Kenilworth Road this afternoon, with the knowledge he will start as understudy to ex-West Ham and Sparta Prague stopper Marek Stech.

He wants the competition and I want the competition, because I think it brings the best out of me.

James Shea

However, Shea, who has made over 100 Football League appearances for the Dons until being released in the summer, said: “The manager said he’s brought Marek in to start, but he said, ‘If you come in and you do well, you’ll play’.

“He wants the competition and I want the competition, because I think it brings the best out of me.”

Jones himself confirmed that would be the case to begin with, saying: “James has the experience of being promoted from this division with Wimbledon and although Marek initially comes in as our number one, we do feel that we’ve got two first choice goalkeepers that can compete.

“We’ve got stern competition in all areas now.”

Stech became Luton’s sixth new arrival of the summer and was left massively impressed by what had gone before him, with James Collins, Andrew Shinnie, Alan McCormack, Jack Stacey and Stech already on board.

He continued: “The signings so far have been unbelievable. You can just tell by the players he’s brought in that you know where the club’s going to be this season.

“I’ve got a bit of experience from being promoted a couple of years ago, and that’s the aim this season.”

On how the move came about, Shea said: “I found out last Thursday evening that there was a bit of interest. I spoke to my agent and he said, ‘Can you go and meet the manager in the morning?’ No problem. I just jumped on the train and met him on Friday morning.

“Luton is the perfect place for me to be right now. I’ve got a young family, so we can live at home still, and it’s a club on the rise.”

LIke all the new players this term, Shea was lost for words with Town’s new training ground at the Brache, adding: “As soon as I turned up I knew it was the place I wanted to come. You see the training ground, the facilities here – it’s unbelievable.

“It’s Championship at worst really and when I spoke to the manager…I just can’t thank him enough for it.”