First Team

Shandon Baptiste | The story so far

The story of our first summer signing as he begins his latest chapter at Kenilworth Road.

Baptiste pic 4

Our first summer signing is 26-year-old midfielder Shandon Baptiste, who has established a career for himself, despite many highs and lows throughout the journey.

Starting his career at Reading at just seven years old after moving to the UK from Grenada at three, Shandon’s dream as a child was to make it to the Premier League, which he eventually achieved with Brentford in August 2021.

That dream seemed further away than ever for Shandon when he was 15, after being released from the Royals academy because of his small stature at the time.

The Baptiste family were there for Shandon during this time of his young career; they made him feel like he knew his worth and maintained the hunger and drive to help him succeed, as he has gone on to do.

His love for football returned when he would play casually with his friends, and he would email clubs asking for a trial before a coach at John Madejski Academy helped get Shandon a one-week trial at Oxford United.

Shandon took his chance as he secured a scholarship with the U’s in 2015. The dream was almost over again for Shandon as his scholarship was about to expire and he was out for six months due to injury. However, Oxford United put Shandon’s mind at ease by offering him a six-month professional contract so he could take the opportunity while injury-free.

Two appearances in the EFL Trophy landed Shandon with an extension to his contract and he went out on loan to National League South side Hampton & Richmond to showcase his skills in senior football.

Shandon missed out on the play-offs at Beveree Stadium before he became a regular at the Kassam the following season, which was then cut short again because of injury.

A full recovery from his ACL injury got Shandon back in the U’s team before Brentford, the club he suffered his injury against, came calling in January 2020.

Shandon is already off the mark for Luton after scoring an own goal in our 2-1 win against Brentford one month after his transfer!

Another setback with a torn lateral meniscus in his knee meant he made just one appearance in the Bees’ promotion to the Premier League in 2020/21.

Shandon pushed through though and went on to make 55 Premier League appearances for Brentford across three seasons, scoring his second top-flight goal against the Hatters last December.

Setbacks have been part of our story as much as Shandon’s, so it is fitting that the next chapter of his career will be at Kenilworth Road.

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