Pearson insists youngsters should stake their claim for Hatters shirt

Josh Neufville has featured for Town during pre-season
Josh Neufville has featured for Town during pre-season

Town’s youngsters have been urged to take their opportunity to try and break into the first team squad this term by centre half Matty Pearson.

The 25-year-old has seen young pros Corey Panter and Josh Neufville utilised during pre-season, the latter taking on an experimental right back role at times.

With Jack Stacey leaving for Premier League side Bournemouth and no replacement arriving just yet, Pearson said: “This is a chance, this is how it works in football.

“You get players who move on and that’s the chance for players to take that shirt.

“At the minute, maybe the right back slot’s up for grabs and if I was a young player, I’d be looking at that and thinking, setting your sights on trying to get that shirt.

“It’s a great opportunity for the young lads and they need to be fully focussed and try to work their way into the team.”

Another member of the U18s has also had game time during Luton’s warm-ups with midfielder Sam Beckwith featuring against Bedford Town and Basingstoke.

Pearson continued: “We’ve called on a few younger lads and this is their chance.

“Sam took his chance, he’s come on for 15, 20 minutes and he got a mention there from the assistant (after the Bedford game), so fair play to him, it’s a great opportunity.”

Meanwhile, boss Graeme Jones, speaking of the player who has been with Town since an U8, added: “I think Sam was unfazed by it.

“He’s a young lad who’s come into the game and didn’t play in his natural position, but I think Sam coped with the occasion very well.”