High five and plenty of goals for Cedars’ young Hatters squad

Cedars Luton Town
Cedars Luton Town

Picking up five trophies, the partnership between Luton Town and Cedars Upper School continued to flourish last season.

The U18s Development squad, mixing talents on the pitch and in the classroom, picked up the National League Under 19 Alliance Regional Division, Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League Corinthian Division, Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League: Brian Hitchings Cup, Bedfordshire Schools County Cup and the South Beds District Schools Cup.

But the accolades didn’t stop there - in their 51 games, they won 42 matches, scoring 199 goals and keeping 22 clean sheets.

Head coach Stuart Smith heaped praise on his squad and believes the Hatters have a great group of players at their disposal.

“This has been an Outstanding Season in all respects from these lads who have taken the programme to a whole new level,” he said.

“Overall of course we are delighted with the Trophy return but Joe Deeney and I are never satisfied and won’t be until we manage a clean sweep.

“We have talked a lot about winning and trophies, which is a vital part of players, development at this age, but equally the development in all four corners: technical/tactical, psychological, physical and social from all the players has been outstanding.

“We have to ensure that they are equipped to deal with adult football where managers demand wins.

“We are delighted with the quality of the football that has been played with and without the ball.

“Our goals total indicates the way we are asking the lads to play which is a progressive possession based game with a real attacking intent.

“We have also asked them to play in four different shapes throughout this season to enhance their learning and give them a broader knowledge of the game, this will benefit them when they progress in to the adult game where managers will play a variety of shapes.

“Going forward we are extremely pleased with the quality of next seasons intake and though we will be mainly first years we have no doubts about the quality they possess.

“Coupled to this, if the lads who will remain with us next year improve their ability to keep clean sheets, close games out and be more effective at both end of the pitch with their set plays then I am optimistic of another successful season.

“These techniques and skills will be vital in their progressions in to competitive adult football and the level they are capable of playing.

“Our philosophy is to develop intelligent, technical and tactically aware players who play the game in the right way but at the same time understand how to manage and win a game which is what first team managers require.

“The lads’ development is in no small measure down to the excellent work of our coach Joe Deeney and physio Lynsey Northeast, whose time expertise have been invaluable, who in turn have shown a great willingness to learn.”