Banton agrees new contract with Hatters
Hatters striker Zane Banton has agreed a new one year contract extension at Kenilworth Road.
The 19-year-old forward has been one of the real finds for new boss Nathan Jones since taking over at the club, making four impressive cameos from the bench.
Banton had been out of contract at the end of the season, but will now be at the club until at least the summer of 2017, as Jones said: “We’ve tied Zane down to another year, see how he does.
“We’re well protected with Zane, because he’s been here, we have options.
“It’s a realistic one for Zane, he’s played two or three league games since I’ve been here, he hadn’t made a start since I’d been here.
“He’s not been in many match day squad even and he wasn’t even training with the first team, so it’s a realistic one.
“We can’t carried away by thinking we’ll give him a three year, we’ll do this, we’ll do that, no.
“It’s given him a realistic chance of if he wants to do it, because he has to improve, he has to improve some things a lot to be a professional footballer, and if he does these things, then god willing he’ll have a good future.”
On what exactly it was that he had seen in Banton, who hadn’t featured for the first team in over two years prior to Jones being appointed, the boss continued: “He was on loan at Hemel Hempstead when I came in, but we saw something in him.
“I remember the session, we were doing a counter attacking session and he just really took the eye, so we saw he had something.
“We recalled him, kept him around us, he had a few offers to go back out, but we felt given time and the right kind of guidance, he’ll impact, and he has.
“He’s a little bright spark and one we’ve got decent hope for, realistic but decent hopes.”
Meanwhile, Jones confirmed that Banton was back in contention for Saturday’s final game of the season at home to Exeter City after being dropped from the squad for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Northampton due to an ‘internal matter’.
The Town chief believes a lesson has been learned too, adding: “We hope so, he says he has and he was man enough to come to me and speak and apologise.
“We don’t want to make a big thing of it because it wasn’t a massive issue, but it’s a learning curve as we can’t afford lack of discipline here from senior players, let alone young players who are still embarking.
“So it’s our job, it’s our duty to educate them on not just being a footballer, but being a human being and that’s what we want.
“We’re doing that with Zane, he’s a good kid, it’s just he can be a bit flaky at times.”