Hatters snap up former Crystal Palace and Reading duo for U21s squad

Williams and Lawless both sign for Luton
Town's new U21 signing Conor LawlessTown's new U21 signing Conor Lawless
Town's new U21 signing Conor Lawless

Luton Town have signed two youngsters to their U21 squad, as defender Josh Williams and midfielder Conor Lawless have agreed deals following successful trial periods.

Williams 21, is a former Wales U15 and U19 international left-back who did his scholarship at Aston Villa and was also a second year pro with Crystal Palace.

He spent a year playing non-league football for Newcastle Town, joining up with Town's development squad just before the coronavirus pandemic, while also featuring for Stafford Rangers until the 2020-21 Northern Premier League season was halted.

Lawless, 20, was with Reading from the age of nine and progressed through the same Royals academy that produced Jack Stacey and Gabe Osho, going on to make his first-team debut against the Hatters in the FA Cup last term as a late substitute, before his release at the end of the season.

On the duo's arrivals, Luton player development coach Adrian Forbes said: “We had Josh in on trial for a period of time, but unfortunately picked up an injury when we played against Tottenham.

"We monitored that injury, got him back in over the last few weeks and have been impressed with how he’s played.

“He’s got good pedigree and also with the age he is, we’ve got a lot of younger players in that 21s group – the likes of Aidan Francis-Clarke, Ben Tompkins and Avan Jones – that he can help nurture as well.

“Athletic left-backs are hard to come by in football at the moment, especially around the U21s age group, so he’ll be a really good signing and one that I look forward to working with over the coming months and season.

"Conor is another who came in on trial last year, and didn’t get the opportunity to play games with us last, but we offered him the opportunity to come back in this season.

"He took that opportunity and he’s come in and flourished.

“He’s a different midfielder to what we’ve got in that U21s age group, and again, he can bring on some of the younger ones as well – the likes of Ed McJannet and Tyrelle Newton – who we feel will have good futures along with the likes of Casey Pettit, Ben Stevens – the list is endless.

“He’s a great addition to the group and another who, like Josh, we feel we can develop, improve and help take to the next level.”