Teenager James in contention for Luton at Peterborough

Town youngster Jack James will be in the squad for the Hatters' Checkatrade Trophy clash at Peterborough tomorrow evening.

Monday, 12th November 2018, 1:05 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 8:54 pm
Hatters defender Jack James on his debut against Spurs U21s

The 19-year-old, who made his debut for the club in last year’s competition, playing the second half of Luton’s 2-2 draw with Spurs U21s, went on to sign his first professional deal in the summer.

He has been away with Ireland this term, playing three times for the U19s recently, as Hatters manager Nathan Jones could well give him another opportunity at the ABAX Stadium.

The Town chief said: “He’ll be in the squad, he’s been away with Ireland, done fantastically well, so he’s in contention.

“He’s another one that needs testing, so he’ll either play in the Checkatrade Trophy team or he’ll be eligible for a loan.

“We’ll evaluate that and when we pick the side, we’ll see where are.”

Despite not playing for Luton since August 2017, Jones has been pleased with the progress of the Upper Caldecote-based youngster who joined the club as an U14 and has also featured for the Irish U18s as well.

He continued: “He’s done really well for Ireland, they’re really pleased with him, I get good feedback from the Ireland manager every time he goes away.

“Unfortunately for him, we’ve got a wealth of full backs at the club in front of him, like (Jack) Stacey and JJ (James Justin). We’ve also got people like Matty Pearson who can play there, Frankie Musonda can play there.

“He’s got some competition, but we don’t mind having good competition in certain areas as long as they keep progressing within themselves and he’s doing that, so well done to him.”

James could get an opportunity due to the fact that Frankie Musonda is on loan with Oxford City, whom he helped earn an FA Cup first round replay with Tranmere Rovers after a 3-3 draw at Prenton Park on Saturday.

Clubs can recall their players from spells at non-league clubs to play in the Checkatrade Trophy, but not within the first 28 days of the move, as Jones added: “We knew that, but it was a real good opportunity for Frankie to get a lot of games under his belt and to play in the FA Cup which proved to be a wonderful game for him.

“We wanted that test for him, so it’s proved a good decision.

“Yes, he would have played in our Checkatrade team tomorrow but we felt the number of games he’s played at Oxford and having that game and now another game against league opposition, would really benefit him.

“They did superbly well Oxford on the weekend, they were unlucky not to go through and only a late goal denied them, so he’s in a good place and its proved to be a decent decision.”

Meanwhile, Jones confirmed there would be some more U18s in the squad for the match, as has been the norm throughout the tournament, adding: “They’ll be a few in the squad, they make up the squad as we need to look after one or two of the starters from the weekend because of the schedule we’ve got coming up and the minutes they’ve done.

“But we have to treat the competition with the same respect as we always have done, because it’s going to be a very tough game against Peterborough as they always are.”