Youth team stars put pen to paper on pro deals
The Hatters are delighted to announce that youth team regulars James Justin and Frankie Musonda have signed professional contracts with the club.
The 17-year-old pair have put pen to paper on deals which will keep them at Kenilworth Road until the end of the 2016/17 season.
Both players have risen through the academy ranks together and were instrumental in the Hatters’ Under-11 side that won the Aarau Masters tournament in Switzerland in 2011 after beating Bayern Munich in the final.
Luton-born Justin is a defensive midfielder who is also capable of playing at right-back. The youngster joined the academy in 2005. After breaking into the Town Under-18s he has also made a number of appearances for the Hatters’ development squad.
Musonda is a centre-half by trade. Like Justin, he has been a permanent fixture in the Town’s youth team and, more recently, development squad. The Bedford-born defender joined the Hatters academy in 2006.
Hatters Under-18 boss Paul Driver told lutontown.co.uk: “James has been with us for a long time and it’s always pleasing to see a Luton lad come through the system and end up with a professional contract.
“He has shown a tremendous attitude and has great desire, and it’s those kind of mental attributes which often stand players out from the rest. A good attitude when you get to senior level is what young players need most and James has both the talent and the attitude.
“James first came into the Under-18s as an under-16, we needed some cover at right-back and gave him an opportunity in that position which he did really well. Primarily he is a central midfielder but he is flexible to play in both of those positions.
“That’s what you get with James – you can throw anything at him and he will knuckle down, work hard and step up to the challenge.”
On Musonda, youth team manager Driver said: “Frankie’s is another lad who we have had in the system for a long while.
“We try not to pigeon-hole players into a position when they are younger – we want to see what they are like in different positions. In the 2013 Frankie played up front for me – he was initially labelled as a ‘striker’ but we took into consideration his attributes and thought he would be a good fit for a centre-half. And that’s what he is: a centre-back. He’s strong and very vocal; he’s a leader.
“He’s a player who like James we can show to our under-13s and say ‘this is the kind of player on and off the pitch you need to aspire to be like if you want to be a success’.”
Academy boss Andy Awford added: “I’m delighted for both boys. They’ve shown real potential and now the hard work starts for them: to grasp this opportunity and go on and make a name for themselves in the professional game.”
Everyone at Kenilworth Road would like to congratulate James and Frankie and wish them all the best success in their professional career at Luton Town.