“There never comes a time when you’re a master of rugby,” enthuses Luke Spellen, to this reporter, as he sips on his refreshing iced malt insolently, tucked away in the confines of his thoughts ready to get down to business.
Sooner rather than later, Luke and I trot at a more sedate pace down the steps and on to the wooden jetty, as we find ourselves standing in front of the now near-empty expanse of grass of this ancient club.
“After I went to a training session and played my first few matches for Luton, I instantly got hooked, and my coaches spent their time being instrumental to who I am today,”Luke Spellen
The behemoth of a prop dismisses his nebulous feelings of disappointment at the office, as their opponents for the day Huntingdon forfeited the match recently, thus giving Luke and his team a well-deserved day’s rest.
The forfeit thus ensured Luton progress into the final of the East Midlands Cup, for the sixth successive season, and they will be looking to avenge last year’s defeat.
As the hoards of fans keep on rushing into the mini-bar so as not to miss the big kick-off between England and Italy (Six Nations) Luke and I carry on. How did it all come to this then? I enthused.
Spellen’s journey of playing with the egg-shaped ball commenced nearly a decade ago, and he has been involved directly with Luton rugby for eight years.
Having left for the land down under (Australia) between 2005-2009 to join an academy in Sydney, Luke came back with the aim of taking his beloved Luton back to the promised land of National League rugby.
Luke shares his rugby testimony, which has had its fare shares of ups and downs: “I love going to the gym nowadays; I remember when I was overweight in 2004, my brother who was in the marines at the time, came back home and he motivated me to go train with him at the local gym.”
With his destiny far from achieved, Luke wanted to venture into something new, having acquired this new chiselled frame after strenuous workout, his face suddenly lights up, as he retrieves the elusive snippet of information: “I played football and did a bit of boxing during my junior years.
“But after I went to a training session and played my first few matches for Luton, I instantly got hooked, and my coaches spent their time being instrumental to who I am today,” paying homage to former coaches Terry Wright and Nick Staff as well as club chairman Mark Turner.
With regards to seeing new faces in and on the pitch for the club, Luke says: “I make the effort to know the new lads on the team.
“Through my experiences over the years, when it comes to match day, I have matured enough to the point where I turn up completely ready, prepared and switched on for the next 80 minutes.”
He further adds: “The new players bring in a variety of new skills and technique, therefore the team is constantly improving.”
Although he may not know what the future holds for him, Luke has a desire to “captain the club back to the upper echelons of rugby.”
Likewise, he did manage to offer advice to any young prop players, disclaiming: “It is important to look after your body, and yes it is true that strength as a prop forward is important, but one must focus on the basics first, and once you understand this, your centre of gravity will improve.”