Talented teens will be offered deals at Luton
Luton Town's promising crop of youngsters will be offered professional contracts when the time is right according to boss Nathan Jones.
The Hatters has been keen to promote from within since taking over at the club in January, handing 11 debuts to academy graduates already, with the likes of full back James Justin now a regular in the first team.
On the latest batch of talented teens coming through at Kenilworth Road, Jones said: “Some will probably get offered earlier than others, some we’re happy with, but the difference between youth football and first team football is quite vast.
“Some have made the step up quite quickly in terms of Akin (Famewo) and James Justin and Tyreeq (Bakinson), others are taking a little bit longer.
“What we judge them on is do we feel they will impact on our first team?
“We’ve made a decision with Cameron McJannet for example that it was a good move for him.
“We brought in Jack Senior who we felt was closer, but there’s a few of them doing very well in there that we’re very pleased with and we want them to continue.”
One such player is FA Youth Cup hat-trick hero Jack Snelus as he bagged a superb treble for the U18s as they knocked Dagenham & Redbridge out of the competition with an extra time 4-3 win last Thursday.
On the young midfielder, who Jones had his first team debut to in the Checkatrade Trophy victory over West Brom U23s, Jones continued: “He’s proving himself at the minute.
“He’s scoring goals, scoring some spectacular ones, so providing he keeps doing that and keeps polishing his all-round game then he has a chance.
“There’s one or two that we’re very pleased to have in our ranks and he’s one of them.”
Meanwhile, when asked about the cup match, in which Hatters only just saw off their east London opponents to set up a third round tie with Sheffield Wednesday, Jones added: “We were at the game and they showed a lot of character.
“We’re going to need to improve as they got the win which was all that matters in the cup and Jack Snelus got a fantastic hat-trick, young Ready (Arthur Read) with a great goal and another good performance.
“But we made hard work of it as we didn’t do some of the fundamental things.
“They’ve had a lot of praise our youth team and our young players, but they know that they’ve done well to get through.
“We’re going to need to step up, but it’s brilliant, another run continues and cup games change round to round.
“So you have to put that one behind you and move on, I thought they showed fantastic character, a clinical edge, just certain things they need to get better at.”