Millar Matthews-Lewis is using team-mate Zack Nelson’s first-team experience as motivation as he looks to make a big impression at Kenilworth Road!
The pair are good friends away from the pitch, and Millar was at his side during a daunting but brilliant experience for the 17-year-old, who travelled to Hull as part of the matchday squad after impressing in youth team fixtures this season.
“We have our group chat with a couple of the boys and because he didn’t share a room with anyone (in Hull), we were just on the phone with him for about two hours, just talking about anything really!” said Millar.
His personal learning curve became greater a matter of days later, after featuring on the bench against Huddersfield Town in the Sky Bet Championship. Having played at Kenilworth Road himself in Development Squad fixtures, Matthews-Lewis is keen to gain more opportunities in the future, explaining as part of the EFL’s Youth Development Week.
“Zack is one of my friends I talk to everyday, on the PlayStation we talk all the time and watching him do what he’s doing every day, on the bench for the first team, travelling away as well, it helps us to push more because there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
“Everyone is trying to push to be in Zack’s position, get on the bench and train with the first team, because that’s a big experience and it’s what everyone wants.”
As part of Luton Town’s academy, one shining example of a player progressing through the ranks is James Justin – a man Millar revealed all youngsters, including himself, look up to.
“We look at what he’s done and then you look at him now, he’s been picked for England and he’s a starter for Leicester. We all look up to him because he’s playing in the Premier League and that is where every boy’s dream is.”
Matthews-Lewis has been amongst the goals on a regular basis, crediting the help provided by Head Coach Alan McCormack and Alex Lawless who have ‘been there and done it’.
“They have played in front of thousands of people, they know the standards we have to have to be over with the first team. It helps us because it improves everything we do, from the goalkeeper to the striker, it helps us massively on the pitch because we know we need to reach a certain level to be over there, and it helps because they’ve done it and been through it.”