Town’s latest product from the academy, Kavan Cotter, has to prove he is worthy of a place in Luton’s first team squad, according to academy and development manager Andy Awford.
The 18-year-old was awarded a one-year deal recently, joining the likes of James Justin, Frankie Musonda and Akin Famewo to be promoted from Town’s U18 side in recent seasons.
eHe’s been given his opportunity and we’ll help him and support him and see where he goes for the next 12-18 months.Andy Awford
However, Awford knows it won’t be an easy ride for the teenager, who made his full debut in the 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Gillingham back in August.
He said: “He got his opportunity quite early, acquitted himself well and he’s a young one obviously that we quite like.
“Is he ready to bang on the first team door at the minute? In all honesty it would be a big ask for him, but he’s one that over the course of the apprenticeship, had done enough to have an opportunity to see how he goes next year.
“So he’s been given his opportunity and we’ll help him and support him and see where he goes for the next 12-18 months.”
On where he sees Cotter, who was utilised as a full back on his debut, fitting in, Awford continued: “He’s a midfield player, he played out of position in the Checkatrade.
“He likes to play on the right hand side or central midfield, although can play at full back at a push, as he did in the trophy.
“He’s got that year and he’ll come back in at the end of June and we’ll find a pathway for him and allow him to develop.
“Hopefully he if continues at the rate has then over the next 18 months, two years, he can start to make an impact on our first team.
“It would be a big ask for him now, that’s the reality of it, we just think over the two years, he deserves an opportunity to get a crack of the whip.”
Meanwhile, central defender Musonda, who captained Cotter during their spell in the U18s together, added: “ Kav’s a good player, I wasn’t shocked when I heard that he got his pro, he’ll definitely fit in well with the first team.
“He’s another one who can play in a few different positions as well, he’s a hard worker and this pre-season he can show the gaffer exactly what he’s about.”