Royals defender reflects on a ‘mad’ week after joining Luton

Sean Long on his home debut
Sean Long on his home debut

Saturday’s Football League debut at Crawley Town was the end of a ‘mad week’ for new Luton loan signing Sean Long

The 20-year-old had been in Vicenza on Tuesday, playing 90 minutes for the Ireland U21s as they lost 1-0 to Italy in an U21 Euro Championship qualifier.

“It was mad, but I’m not complaining, I’m playing league football, and I was loving it.”

Sean Long

On touching down in England, the Reading defender was then whisked off to Kenilworth Road after agreeing a one-month deal.

He made his debut in the 2-1 defeat at Crawley as Long said: “It was a mad week. I had two games as I played Lithuania on the Friday and then flew out to Italy and played them on the Tuesday.

“Literally as the plane landed back, I got the call saying travel down here.

“So it was mad, but I’m not complaining, I’m playing league football, and I was loving it.

“All the lads and the staff have been great. I’ve settled in well, trained Thursday, trained Friday just to get me involved with the lads.

“I spoke to the manager and the staff about various things, what way we play and what he wants me to do, so I was looked after well.

“I knew a bit about Luton and that they’ve got great support.

“I knew a few of the Irish lads here, Paddy McCourt, Mark O’Brien, so it’s always good to have a few people you can relate to straight away.”

It was something of a baptism of fire for the right back as he had only played once for parent club Reading, that in a Capital One Cup back in August 2014.

Although a regular for the Royals’ U21s side, this was a whole new ball game as he continued: “It’s what I’m looking for now. I’m looking to step on and had a good few seasons at Reading 21s, but this is the next level.

“It’s league football, which is why I jumped at the decision to come here.

“It’s a lot different to 21s football, but I enjoyed it.

“Obviously the result wasn’t what I wanted, but first half I thought we did all right, although it meant nothing with the second half performance.

“I’d been told it’s a lot more physical, a lot more maybe longer ball, win your one-on-one battles, so I did expect it.

“But when you’re in there it’s a lot different. It was a great experience and I’m just hoping to experience a bit more now.”

On his immediate future, Long isn’t looking too far ahead as he added: “I’m going to take each game as it comes, I’ll speak to the manager and I’m grateful that he took me here.

“If it does go longer than a month I’ll be delighted, but at the moment I’m here for a month and I’m going to try and play as many games as I can in that month.”