Forbes wants to see young Town stars break into the first team at Kenilworth Road
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Luton’s Development squad head coach Adrian Forbes hopes that the five teenagers who have signed professional development contracts by the Hatters can push on and break into the club’s first team.
Town rewarded youngsters Jacob Pinnington, Zack Nelson, Axel Piesold, Jayden Luker and Joe Johnson with the deals yesterday, after the quintet impressed for the U18s on their way to winning the EFL Youth Alliance South East title by 12 points and also reaching the FA Youth Cup fifth round.
Nelson, Piesold, Luker and Johnson have all been on the bench for the first team this term, although didn’t get on to the field, as Forbes knows that is now the next target for them.
Speaking to the club’s website, Forbes said: “I think it’s important to highlight how hard they’ve all worked this season.
"It has been well documented how well the U18s team have done as a whole under Macca (Alan McCormack).
"The work that they’ve put in on the training ground has certainly reflected on the performances.
“When these players have stepped up and played in the Development squad, it’s been a nice transition for them and they’ve ended up with contracts that they thoroughly deserve.
"We want to build an academy where we get players that come through the academy and then, hopefully, go into the first-team squad here to be with Rob Edwards.
“That’s what we want and that’s what we’re striving to achieve.
"I think it just shows that the work we’re doing within the academy is allowing us to hopefully achieve that in the next few months and years, adding a bit of longevity to what we’re doing with bringing players through, and I think we are doing that.
“It’s now a case of those boys that have been given those contracts, knowing that it’s not ‘job done’, it’s the next step on their ladder.
"Now they have to continue to work hard, listen and take in the information that is being given to them by all the coaches at the club and hopefully that will lead to them getting minutes for the first-team at Kenilworth Road.
"That is what they are striving for and that will be a great reward for all in the academy if that happens.”
Pinnington had been on target for the U18s as they 1-1 with Portsmouth in their Merit League clash on Saturday, while the U16s went down 4-0 against a strong Crystal Palace side.