Manager can keep Brighton informed of keeper's progress
New Hatters goalkeeper Christian Walton has revealed that manager Nathan Jones’ enthusiasm and knowledge of the game made his loan from Brighton & Hove Albion the perfect deal.
The 20-year-old England Under-21 squad member finalised his season-long switch last Friday, and will fly out with the Hatters squad to Hungary for the pre-season training camp this weekend.
As his new number one shirt was being prepared at Kenilworth Road this morning, Walton was busy telling his parent club’s official website just how important this move is for his career – and how his former Albion coach Jones’ presence here was vital to it.
Walton told www.seagulls.co.uk: “It is a perfect fit for me playing games with Nathan Jones, who knows me well as a player.
“I know the enthusiasm he has for the game, the knowledge he has and he’s going to be a great person to work under.
“He’s got links at Brighton and they’ll be able to see my progression throughout the season. It’s going to be really good working with him and the other members of staff at the club too.
“He told me that it’s a stepping stone in my career where I can go and play my games for a team that wants to push for promotion in the coming season, and to enjoy it while I’m there.”
Walton is expecting a tough test in League Two and revealed the words of encouragement he has received from his fellow Albion goalkeepers, including David Stockdale.
“It’s going to be very different from the Championship,” he said. “It’s more of a physical game and you have to be prepared to come out to collect crosses, which is one of main strengths.
“It’s not going to be easy with some other big clubs in that league, but hopefully we can get off to a good start and carry it on throughout the season.
“The keepers at Brighton wished me all the best. Stocko [David Stockdale] told me how good the fans are at Luton, what a big club they are and how good it was for me to get it sorted early on so I can get used to those surroundings.”
The goalkeeper is pleased to have the security of a long-term loan move and aims to push the likes of Stockdale, Niki Maenpaa and Casper Ankergren for a starting berth next season.
“The loan window has changed this year and you have to go for a set amount of time.
“That’s good for me and I am now aiming to push for a place in their team and hopefully I can do really well.
“The reason why I’m going is to get the experience I need to move onto the next level. Next year I can hopefully push for that number one jersey at Brighton.”
*The new goalkeeper shirt is available on pre-order now at www.hattersworld.co.uk, and in-store at the club shops in the Mall Shopping Centre and at Kenilworth Road from next week