New striker on putting pen to paper at Kenilworth Road
When the Hatters and John Still came calling the decision was an easy one for Ross Lafayette.
The Town’s new recruit, who penned a two-year deal at Kenilworth Road last week, turned down a new contract at former club Welling to realise his dream of playing in the Football League.
“When a club like Luton comes knocking it’s difficult not to say no,” the 28-year-old told Hatters Player. “Luton are a big club and are now back where they belong in the Football League. They’re on the up. It wasn’t a tough decision.
“I had agreed a deal verbally with Jamie [Day, the Welling manager] but it was pending a new role at work. That didn’t work out, and then Luton got in touch. As I was a free agent the wheels were soon in motion.
“I spoke to Jamie instantly and explained. I was open and honest about it. It’s just one of those things that happen in football.”
Lafayette scored 17 goals last term of the Wings, including a fine goal against the Hatters, and netted 39 times in two seasons for the Kent club.
The striker will always have fond memories of his time at Park View Road.
“It was a brilliant two years for me,” says Lafayette. “The gaffer, the fans, the players, everyone. We were Conference South champions in 2013 and then held own our in the Conference.
“I’m gutted to leave but this is my next step and I can’t wait to get started at Luton.”
Although a relative later-comer to the pro game, Lafayette is aiming to make up for lost time – and believes he can call on his previous experiences in the game to good effect.
“I’ve played non-league for a while now, with Hemel and Wealdstone and Welling,” says Lafayette. “Before I moved to Welling I was coaching in the States at their MLS camps. It was great fun, but while that was a great experience in which I learned a great deal, it didn’t work out.
“Back in the UK I have gradually have made the step-up every season and I’ve handled it well each time. Now I’ve got to do that again and I’m confident I can.”
So what can Town fans expect to see from the new striker in League 2 next season?
“I’m quick, strong, I’m a target man,” explains Lafayette. “At the same time I can run at people from wide areas, and score goals in the top corner…
“That’s pretty much my game, I like to link-up with my strike partner. Last season I was used to playing in a 4-3-3 with me as the focal point. I scored a lot of goals and got my fair share of assists, and I’ll be looking to bring that to the table next season.”