Former Hull defender Burke reveals why he turned down a host of clubs to join the Hatters

Centre half believes Luton will push him on

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 9:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 9:44 am
New Luton signing Reece Burke
New Luton signing Reece Burke

New Town signing Reece Burke is confident he will reach his very best at Kenilworth Road after turning down a number of other clubs to move to the Hatters last week.

The 24-year-old centre half was a free agent following the conclusion of his contract at newly-promoted Championship side Hull City, with the former West Ham defender having plenty of interested suitors, including a new deal on the table from the Tigers too.

However, he opted to reject them all to join Luton and on the reasons behind his decision to move on from the KCOM Stadium after playing over 100 times in three years, Burke said: “For me it’s football. I know the next two, three years, is where I want to be at my very best.

“I still feel I’ve got loads to offer and I need to be at a club and have the management around me to push me on.

"After all the people I spoke to, I felt at Luton is where I’m going to get it, so that’s why I decided to come here.

“At first my options were open, as I made the decision to myself straight away that I wasn’t going to stay at Hull City.

“They said they wanted to offer me a new contract but I just said no to that and turned it down, I didn’t even know what it was.

“My whole mindset was to start fresh and then I went through the process to see who was interested at the time.

“When I did meet Nathan (Jones), it was always there and we phoned each other as well after.

“It wasn’t so much about what he was saying, it was about what I wanted as well and the club fitted me.

“You could go to a bigger club which people might say is better than Luton but for me it is a crucial time for me in my career so I needed to pick my decision based on nothing but football, that is where Luton appealed to me the most.

“There was some difficulties contract wise with the option (at Hull) and things like that, but I think being at Hull City for three years, don’t get me wrong, I had a good time there, but I just felt like I needed a change, in terms of joining a new club, going again in the Championship.

“When I had the opportunity to go and speak to a few clubs Luton appealed to me, sitting down and speaking with Nathan, so that’s why I decided to leave.”

As ever, the meeting with the Town boss was a big reason behind Burke’s final decision, as he was left impressed by the ambition from Luton’s passionate manager.

He continued: “Before we even spoke about Luton itself, he wanted to know what my aims were and my goals were.

“We sat down and I said at the end of the day I want to be a Premier League football player, so for me, to reach that I need to, for the next few years, get my head down and then push on.

“That’s where he sees the club in the next couple of years, pushing on, hopefully getting in the play-offs and hopefully getting promotion, as everyone at Luton has got big ambitions and that’s what I like.

“I’m pretty sure if I said the wrong things then he wouldn’t have been interested so once I said what I wanted to achieve and then he did, it was a match.

“That is when I went away, spoke with my family, my agent and we knew based on where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do that Luton was the one for me.

“You can tell the players are hungry and it’s a good place to be.

“It’s not so much you go to a big name in the Championship and people automatically think they’re going to get in the play-offs and they don’t, whereas at Luton everyone works hard, so whatever we get, we deserve.

“I’ve been at a few clubs and if you’ve got a good bunch of lads in and around the changing room, good staff and there’s a good connection at the training ground then I think you’re able to achieve anything in the football game.

"The way I sense Luton is they’ve got that already, so that’s what I want to be apart of.

"There’s no big egos and no people thinking they’re better than they are, it’s just people coming to work and working hard."