The Hatters are delighted to announce Czech Republic international goalkeeper Marek Stech has agreed terms today on a two-year contract with Luton Town, which will start on 1st July.
The 27-year-old former West Ham keeper is set to return to English football following a three-year spell in his home country with Sparta Prague.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” said the man who has one full cap and 12 at Under-21 level for the Czech Republic. “It happened really quickly. I spoke to the gaffer about three weeks ago and he filled me in on what they want to achieve here as a football club and I really like that.
“I want to be part of it and I’m absolutely buzzing to be here and sign a contract for two years.”
Manager Nathan Jones was key to the Prague-born keeper’s return to these shores, after they played together during his loan spell at Yeovil Town in 2011-12.
Stech went back to Huish Park on a permanent contract when the gaffer had left to join Charlton in the summer of 2012, but they stayed in touch while the 6ft 5ins goalie was earning cult status at the Somerset club, helping them to promotion from League One and playing in the Championship.
Stech said: “I’ve known him for a long time anyway. When I came to Yeovil on loan, that was his last few games before he retired. He’s a really nice guy, plus when I was at Yeovil we played against Brighton, so I saw him there as well.
“He’s got very big ambitions and he’s such a great coach. I want to work under him. I’ve been filled in with all the staff, and it’s all good. I’m really pleased to be here and looking forward to working with all the staff and players.
“Nathan was definitely a big lure for me. He’s such a strong character as well, and I know how he trains, which helps me, and I know what he wants from me, hopefully I can give it him back.
“We had a good time at Yeovil back then, but he’s a really nice guy and hopefully we can achieve some big things here.”
Stech already knows several faces at Kenilworth Road having worked with Olly Lee, Dan Potts and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu at Upton Park, and having had a loan spell at Leyton Orient when goalkeeper coach Kevin Dearden and captain Scott Cuthbert were there.
He was keen to get back to English football after his spell back with Sparta Prague, where he started his career as a schoolboy before West Ham signed him at 16.
“It was a great experience going back there, and I’m glad I did it,” said Stech. “But I always wanted to come back to the UK because I’ve been here for such a long time – 11 years and I went through all the leagues and I’ve got some experience.
“Obviously Luton have now given me the opportunity again to come here and to play and show my best, show what I can do. That’s what I will do. I want to achieve big things here and hopefully we can do that together.”
Goalkeeper coach Dearden added: “I think it’s a really important signing. Last season’s goalkeeping situation has been well-documented and the good thing with Marek signing is that we’ve put that to bed today. I’m really pleased.
“We were always targeting our own goalkeeper for this season and as Marek said, it has happened really quickly. We heard that Marek was available and as soon as we heard that, Nathan moved as quickly as he could to try and bring Marek here because he’s 27, this is the prime of his career.
“He’s got lots of experience in different countries and different divisions, and we hopefully will see the best of him.”
Welcome to Kenilworth Road, Marek!