Burke determined to stay fit for Luton after penning new deal to remain a Hatter

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Centre half agrees a contract extension

Luton defender Reece Burke is determined to stay fit and play a big part in the Hatters’ first ever Premier League campaign this season after signing a new deal at Kenilworth Road.

The 25-year-old has played 57 times for the Hatters since joining on a free from Hull City in 2021, but has never been able to get a run of more than six consecutive league starts due to various injuries picked up along the way.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He featured in 22 Championship fixtures last term, beginning five games in a row on two occasions, which is something he desperately wants to improve with Town in the top flight once more.

Reece Burke in action for Luton during the play-off final at Wembley - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesReece Burke in action for Luton during the play-off final at Wembley - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Reece Burke in action for Luton during the play-off final at Wembley - pic: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Speaking to the club’s official website, Burke said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

"I’m grateful to have another opportunity, buzzing to continue my journey here.

"It’s been two successful years here, the first season we got in the play-offs and didn’t get promoted but in the second season we did go up.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wembley was the best day of my life in football, so I’m really delighted to stay.

"Personally, last year was difficult for me in terms of injuries, my main focus this time is to stay fit and try to do well.

"When I’m fit, I play well so I know I’ve got more to give.

“I just enjoy coming into training every day, we’ve got a great team, great staff, great fans, I like everything about this club, so it was a no brainer really.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards is confident that the former West Ham centre half can stay fit on a consist basis too, as he said: “I think he’s a really good player and a really important player for us, so I’m delighted that he’s agreed a contract extension because when he’s fit, him and Gabe (Osho) is a right good battle for that position.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I know now the big thing for him will be consistently staying fit and consistently playing, but I know he’s capable of it.

“He’s got energy and from that right-sided position he can be really brave.

"He’ll bomb on, he’ll overlap, he’ll put crosses in, he’ll be aggressive in defensive situations.

“He’s a brilliant bloke who is another one who is just a bit frustrated because he needs that run of games and then just feels little niggles, but he worked so, so hard to get himself fit for the play-off games.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The medical team did brilliant with him to get him right, and he’d have been disappointed not to be playing in the final, but he came on and he was incredible.”

Whenever Burke did play, he showed the hallmarks of the player who came through the ranks at Upton Park, going on to make six top flight appearances for the Hammers and then costing Hull £1.5m in 2018.

On the bench at Wembley for the play-off final with Coventry, the centre half was on far earlier than anyone would have expected, himself included, replacing Tom Lockyer after the Welsh international collapsed on the pitch inside the opening 10 minutes.

Despite playing just over a half of first team football in the month building up to the showpiece event, Burke excelled from the moment he came on, helping to restrict Sky Blues' star striker Viktor Gyokeres to very little in terms of clear-cut chances, as Luton drew 1-1, then winning on penalties to reach the top division in English football for the first time in over 30 years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On his display, Edwards said: “I thought his mentality to come on so early, in difficult circumstances when Locks went off when he did, to come into that, the biggest game of all of our careers, and perform as he did against really tough opposition, just says everything you need to know about him.

“He’s another one, when you think about his goal away at Huddersfield on New Year’s Day, he got three wins in a row for us and it was a really important goal.

"But his performances, whenever he did play, were excellent.

"Even in a game we lost, Burnley at home, I thought he was magnificent.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, Burke added: “Over the last two seasons, the best moment would be Wembley.

"I came on so early in the game, but I did well and that feeling when we won was unreal.

"It’s so hard to describe but it’s my best day in football for me.”