Ex-Hatter Sluga would love to say a 'proper goodbye' to Luton's 'amazing' fans after deadline day exit

Croatian international will never forget his time at Kenilworth Road

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 5:58 pm

Former Luton keeper Simon Sluga hopes to one day be able to come back to say a 'proper goodbye' to the 'amazing' Hatters fans following his departure from Kenilworth Road on Monday.

The 30-year-old, who was out of contract in the summer, headed to Bulgarian side Ludogorets for an undisclosed fee during transfer deadline day, in order to prevent the club record signing and Croatian international leave for nothing in the summer.

Sluga, who joined the club in the summer of 2019 for £1.3m from HNK Rijeka, quickly became a crowd favourite with Town supporters, despite a string of erratic displays during the start of his Luton career.

Simon Sluga left Luton on deadline day

Dropped from the side after a horror show at Derby County, he then returned to play an important role in the Hatters staying up, with a number of fine saves, including a stunning point-gaining one at fellow relegation rivals Wigan Athletic.

With no supporters present last season, Sluga excelled, winning the Player of the Year and Bobbers Away Travel Player of the Year awards, helping Luton to an impressive final position of 12th.

He started this term as number one, before dropping out of the side due to Covid rules and then illness, as James Shea came in to keep six clean sheets in 11 matches.

After missing the goalless draw with Blackburn on Saturday, Sluga's exit was confirmed three days ago, as in a message printed on the club's official website, the shot-stopper said: "I would like to say thank you to all Luton Town fans, from the bottom of my heart, for the support you have given me since I signed for the club.

"For two-and-a-half years you have backed me and sung my name at every match I have played, even in the difficult times, and I will never forget that.

"I hope that one day I can come back to Kenilworth Road and say a proper goodbye because you are amazing.

"I would also like to thank the coaches who have worked with me, especially Kev (Dearden), and the other goalkeepers, Sheasy and Harry (Isted), who have become great friends, as well as the gaffer, Mick (Harford), Harty (Paul Hart) and every member of staff at the club who contributes so much.

I have loved my time at Luton, it has felt like a real home and I will always have special memories of the area because my son was born here.

"As a team we have progressed so much in the Championship, we have some brilliant players and I know the club will be even more successful in the future.

"I will always look for the results, wherever I am playing my football, and I hope our paths will cross at some point again.

"Thank you for everything, good luck – and Come On You Hatters!"