Luton have announced 12 players have signed new two-year scholarships at Kenilworth Road, including Northern Ireland youth internationals Dylan Stitt and Sam Anderson.
Forward Anderson moved to the Hatters in the summer following his time at Dungannon Swifts, whom he made his Northern Irish League Premiership when coming on in the closing stages of their 2-1 victory over Newry City in April.
The 17-year-old also played almost every minute of Northern Ireland’s three 2023 European Championship qualifying group games against Malta, Scotland and Czech Republic last year.
Stitt, who was born in Belfast, also arrived in Bedfordshire this summer after being in Linfield’s academy, and scored when representing his country in their U15s/U16s match against Australia U17s.
The pair join fellow new additions goalkeeper Oliver Pipa and midfielder Dominic Martins, the latter moving to Luton from the Central London Pro Direct Academy, in putting pen to paper.
Meanwhile, a number of players who have been with Town’s academy have also agreed deals, including striker Jamie Odegah, who played in the FA Youth Cup for Town as a 15-year-old, and central defender Charlie Emery, who has been with the club since he was six.
Midfielder Charlie Trustram joined Luton when aged just 14, as did wingback Isaiah Harvey, with Luton-born striker Matthew Takawira, part of the U12s, and is hoping to represent Zimbabwe at youth level this season.
Forward Tate Xavier-Jones was an U9 with Luton, while Zacharias Ioannides scored in the Floodlit Cup semi-final against Cardiff City for Town, and goalkeeper Cai Hockey continues his journey that started in the U11s.
EPL clash: Luton confident of overhauling Fulham7-0 defeats in EFL at Craven Cottage
The Hatters make a much awaited return to Premier League action, this Saturday, with a trip to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.
A two week break, courtesy of international football, has interrupted the continuation of our first ever Premier League season.
Before the break, the Hatters had failed to win a Premier League game, losing to Brighton (a), Chelsea (a) and West Ham United (h).
Luton Town travel to Craven Cottage not only seeking their first win of the season but also their first point.
Throw into the mix the fact that our last visit to Fulham saw the Hatters, while both teams were in the EFL Championship, slip to a devastating 7-0 defeat and you can, perhaps, feel my apprehension about this game.
But is this apprehension shared by the Hatters support?
In our pre-match poll which, courtesy of international break, has been running for a considerable time, only 27% can see Fulham winning this one.
A further 33% reckon this game will result in the Hatters winning their first Premier League game of the season.
As or the remaining 40%, they share my view that the game will end in a draw, a result I’d be happy with, how about you?
Luton match – EPL Official unveil special announcement ahead of Fulham clash on Saturday
Luton Town’s trip to Fulham on Saturday will be refereed by Michael Salisbury after the Premier League announced their officials for Matchweek Five this morning.
The Lancashire referee has officiated two matches so far this season, Aston Villa’s 3-1 win at Burnley in the top flight and Stoke City’s 6-1 thumping of Rotherham in the Carabao Cup.
Last season, Salisbury took 31 games in all competitions, showing 110 yellows and four reds, with two dismissals and eight bookings during Leeds’ 4-2 victory at Wolves back in March.
This will be his first Luton game since the Hatters drew 0-0 against Reading at Kenilworth Road in the Championship back in April 2021.
He also took two more matches that term, Town hitting back from 2-0 down to beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 and the 3-0 home defeat to Brentford.
Salisbury also had the Hatters three times in the 2018-19 season when Luton were in League One, Town triumphing over Oxford United home and away, while also seeing off Bradford City 1-0 at Valley Parade.
He officiated Luton twice the year before, a 1-0 League Two victory at Grimsby, sending off Jordan Cook in the first half and a 2-0 success over Barnet.
The referee also had the 0-0 draw with Notts County in October 2016, giving the hosts a stoppage time penalty which was saved by Christian Walton.
Salisbury started out in 2015-16 in the National League, promoted to League Two the following year, as his first top flight game was Aston Villa’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in November 2021.
Since then he has had 19 Premier League games in total, showing 84 yellows and three reds.
Assistants for the game are Richard West and Derek Eaton, with the fourth official Josh Smith.
VAR official is David Coote, with his assistant Timothy Wood.
22-years-old Chelsea joins Luton Town despite agreeing £8m personal terms with Fulham
Despite agreeing personal terms with Fulham, Callum Hudson-odoi is not guaranteed to play for the Cottagers.
That is because, according to a recent report from the Evening Standard, Luton Town and Nottingham Forest are now pushing to sign the 22-year-old Chelsea winger.
Fulham have been on the verge of completing a deal for Hudson-odoi, 22, for quite some time but with the Londoners so far refusing to meet Chelsea’s £8 million valuation, a final agreement has yet to be reached, despite the player himself being keen to make a move.
Fulham may rue dragging their heels though; the club now face competition from two Premier League rivals.
Luton Town and Nottingham Forest are both on the lookout for at least one new attacker to help ease their struggles in front of goal, and Hudson-odoi, who is free to leave Stamford Bridge after failing to become part of Todd Boehly’s new era, is thought to be the ideal player for both clubs.
However, despite the late interest from both Luton Town and Nottingham Forest, Fulham may still have the edge after the Cottagers recently secured a club-record £50 million fee from Saudi side Al-Hilal for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
UgoChukwu would be a better option for Nottm Forest and for Ugo.
He faces limited opportunities and needs to be sharpened for the premier league.
Next year he can be brought back as central pivot.
He would be better than Caceido in that role and Caceido and Enzo can move forward,