Hatters defender Lockyer will cherish his Euro memories with Wales

Centre half just happy to have been involved at a major tournament
Town defender Tom Lockyer celebrates Wales win over Turkey at the EurosTown defender Tom Lockyer celebrates Wales win over Turkey at the Euros
Town defender Tom Lockyer celebrates Wales win over Turkey at the Euros

Town centre half Tom Lockyer will cherish his memories of the Euro 2020 tournament despite not actually making it on to the pitch for Wales.

The 26-year-old, who has 13 caps to his name, hadn’t been named in the original squad after not playing since February due to ankle ligament damage.

However, an injury to James Lawrence meant Lockyer was called up as a late replacement by manager Robert Page, as he was an unused substitute in all three of Wales’ group stage games and the second round clash where Denmark ran out 4-0 winners.

Speaking about the competition, the defender said: “It was a great experience.

"If I wasn’t going to be involved then I was going to be the biggest fan anyway.

"It was a massive honour to be involved and it is something I will cherish forever.

“I'm gutted not to get on the pitch but these are those things that happen in football.

“If you would have said to me after my operation that I’d be there and not play a minute, I would have bit your hand off either way.”

The fact that Lockyer was in the squad should mean he is in fairly good shape for the Hatters’ Championship campaign which starts next month.

He made his comeback during Saturday's 4-0 friendly win over Rochdale and is in line for further minutes when Town travel to Bedford Town this evening and then Boreham Wood on Saturday.

The defender continued: "I haven’t really had a summer because after the end of the season when all the boys were away, it was about trying to get fit to make that Euro’s squad.

“When I did, I was with them for eight weeks, so my base fitness is relatively good.

"It is just that match fitness now which is not something you can replicate in training.”

Lockyer returned from international duty in time to link up with the rest of the Luton squad for their week-long training camp in York recently, something he feels was hugely beneficial with Town welcoming seven new signings this summer.

He said: "You can't replicate that when you're back home in the training ground, when you're living in each other's pockets for a week, you're singing songs, the new boys are.

"You're with each other almost 24 hours, so it's time likes these which are vital and we've been training really hard, but we've also been go-karting, so it's not fully battering us.

"There's times to do things you enjoy together and different experiences too."

It was a view echoed by manager Nathan Jones as well, who speaking about the club's base at Queen Ethelburga’s College, added: "It is a phenomenal place so first of all we thank the people here at the college because they have been wonderful.

"The facilities are world-class, absolutely world-class and we have done some really good work.

"We chose this place specifically, we looked at about four or five and this is the best one.

"For me this is the most important week of pre-season in terms of getting everyone together, nailing things down and we have done really, really good work."