Edwards highlights Lockyer's importance after declaring Welsh international's game had been 'complete'

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Luton boss Rob Edwards believes that defender Tom Lockyer’s game was verging on ‘complete’ towards the end of last season.

After missing the first few matches of the campaign, the Welsh international won his place back in the team and never let go of it from there, with some consistently excellent displays seeing him named in the Championship Team of the Year.

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He made 39 appearances in the league, and was in the most prolific form of his career too, with three goals in his last four outings ahead of the play-off final against Coventry at Wembley.

However, it was defensively where he absolutely shone, Lockyer making 4.7 clearances per game, with 1.6 interceptions, 1.2 tackles and 0.9 blocks, as he became a massive fans favourite, making his new contract announced this week one of the best pieces of news of pre-season so far.

Discussing the defender, Edwards told the club’s official website: “He’s so important.

"We all saw, when I say we, I mean the supporters, everyone involved in the club, saw how important he was to us on the pitch.

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"That was obvious for everyone to see, but off the pitch, he’s a leader.

Rob Edwards with defender Tom LockyerRob Edwards with defender Tom Lockyer
Rob Edwards with defender Tom Lockyer

"He drives things on a daily basis and maybe for the stuff that people don’t see, he does it here every day at the Brache.

"His consistency, his determination, his fight, his drive, his courage, his bravery was there.

"He's even chipping in with really important goals at the end of last season, his game was complete.”

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With the popular Lockyer such an integral part of Luton’s XI, it was a massive concern for all involved when he collapsed on the field in the opening 10 minutes at the home of English football and had to be taken to hospital.

He has since had an operation to correct an atrial fibrillation, and is now taking a full part in pre-season training ahead of Town’s first ever campaign in the Premier League, as Edwards added: “What happened in the final was so worrying until we knew he was okay.

"That was why it was so emotive at the end of the game, we knew he was all right and that was all we cared about really.

"It was really hard to enjoy the moment until we knew that, but very, very soon afterwards we knew he was fine.

"The medical guys were amazing with him.

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"The job that they did, and I’ve got to say that as well, the job they did on the day, at that moment in time, would have been scary for them as well.

"They were really, really good, really, really professional, so Tom’s had the best care.

"He’s in great health, he’s in great shape and we’re so pleased he’s committed his long term future to the club.”