Impressive Hatters teenager Casey Pettit can see a pathway to his end goal of making the first team at Luton
U18s captain happy with his development since moving to Kenilworth Road
Young midfielder Casey Pettit is confident he is on the right pathway to achieve his end goal of making the first team with Luton Town.
The 19-year-old started out with West Ham United's academy as a youngster, before heading to Millwall, but wasn't offered a scholarship deal by the Lions during 2019, leaving him without club.
It wasn't for long though, as the Hatters soon showed their interest, with Pettit moving to Kenilworth Road to link up with the U16s, and had impressed at every age-group since, earning his first professional development contract in the summer.
He has often captained the youth team during his stint with Luton and is now a regular for the development squad, one of four youngsters along with Jacob Pinnington, Ed McJannet and TQ Addy, picked to face Stevenage in a 1-0 defeat yesterday, a game that manager Nathan Jones used to give his first teamers valuable minutes after their enforced Christmas break.
With the Hatters firm believers in bringing young players through and Jones himself keen to bring give academy players a chance where possible, the pathway the boss often talks about is something Pettit can clearly see.
He said “That’s one of the reasons why I signed at this football club, because you see a pathway.
"You need to try and progress and break in and be the next James Justin, the likes of them, so it’s all about kicking on from now, trying to train with the first team every day, pushing on from there, and just take every day as it comes.
"That's (first team football) the end goal and I’ll reiterate, these games (development squad matches) are really important as you can learn something from the first team lot and take that into your game.
"Then the big test is when they’re not here, can you step up, can you do what they do and really be a leader and then you go from there and try and make that jump up to the first team.”
Despite his tender years, Pettit is already a natural it would appear in front of the camera when giving interviews to the press, coming across as comfortable, relaxed and happy to talk, something which is not always the case when starting out.
More importantly, he has been happy with his development through the ranks with the Hatters as well, continuing: "I signed in the U16s, and it’s good to progress through the years, get my first pro contract at the start of the year and then I've just been pushing on ever since.
"It's really good to play in these games and the captaincy is an additional bonus, but you’re just one of the team.
"Every game is just a learning curve and one that you just have to play as well as you can."
Along with his increased match action, Pettit has regularly been rubbing his shoulders with the first team, heading to the Brache to join in with a number of sessions.
He was quick to notice the step up in standard, but believes it can only help improve his own game too, saying: "It’s really good to be fair and when you’ve made that jump, it’s a completely different way of training.
"You go from one level to another, and it’s a big jump, but one that when you get going, it’s really enjoyable.
"As when you get going you’re playing with quicker players, the first touch, and you’re improving every day.
"You improve every day with the 23s, but when you go up to the first team, you’re doubling that and you’re doing really well over there.
"You can’t get any higher than the first team, it’s a privilege and every day you’ve got to go in there and do as best as you can, which is really good.”
With the transfer window still open and the likes of Dion Pereira and Sam Beckwith out on loan with Bradford City and Maidenhead United respectively, when asked if he would look to get a similar move to build up his senior minutes, Pettit added: "It all depends, I just take every game as it comes and every training session as it comes.
"If I don’t feel like I’m getting any opportunities, or I feel like it’s the right time then I will look to get a move as a loan, but all depends on the timing.
"For now, I’m happy with how my development’s going and I'll just go from there."