Hatters hope new deal will set them on road to glory
Town players Jack Marriott, Cameron McGeehan and Johnny Mullins were only too happy to help launch the Hatters’ new sponsorship deal with SsangYong Motor UK Ltd on Friday afternoon.
And after travelling from Ely Way – where they had undergone fitness tests with their team-mates – to the firm’s recently expanded headquarters close to Luton airport in Tivoli cars specially wrapped to match the colours of the new Puma kits they were modelling, the trio are intent on remaining in the driving seat for 2016-17.
Vastly-experienced defender Mullins was delighted to get the chance to work on his ball control on his first day at the club since joining from Oxford United – as well as his clutch control.
“I only stalled it three or four times,” laughed Mullins, sporting the new purple third kit to match the colour of the Love Luton campaign, whose logo will appear on the back of the shirt after the Hatters donated the space for next season.
“But once I got used to it, it was a nice car to drive, it felt really good. I think I’m going to get on to the guys here to see if they’ll give me one!”
The 31-year-old certainly knows the road to success in Sky Bet League Two having won promotion with Oxford before agreeing to join the Hatters this summer.
“It was good to come in for the tests and meet everyone for the first time,” said Mullins. “Pre-season has changed a lot since I started. There’s still some long enough runs, and it gets harder with the quicker and shorter stuff, but it has all changed for the better.
“We even had the balls out on day one. I didn’t know what to do when it was coming towards me…I’d forgotten how to kick one!
“But it was good to have one out there and it just goes to show that it’s a different game under a different manager who wants and demands different things.
“You know that pre-season is based on hard work, and it’ll set us up for hopefully a successful season, which is what we’re all aiming for.”
And for the man who made 51 appearances as Oxford finished runners-up in both the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and League Two last season, that means gaining a second successive promotion to the third tier.
“Yes, it’s the number one objective,” he added. “I’ve come to get promoted here at Luton. I enjoyed it last season, and it’s just given me an extra incentive and a burning desire to go and do it again.
“Coming in and seeing the quality of the players we have here, I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that.”
Last season’s top scorer Marriott was equally revved up for the season ahead as he sat in the orange-topped Tivoli.
“They’re good cars and it’s a great partnership for the club to enter into, with SsangYong being based in the local community and having many of our fans working here,” said the 21-year-old.
“We want to give them plenty to cheer this season. Promotion is our aim, everyone knows that, and I’m sure with the squad we’ve got and a few more additions, we can make a good go of it.”