Driver given permanent role as Luton U18s boss

HATTERS have confirmed that Paul Driver has been given the job of youth team manager on a permanent basis, writes Mike Simmonds.

The former Rushden & Diamonds assistant manager joined the club in the summer to help develop a number of the club’s youth age groups and has now been appointed on a full-time basis.

Speaking about his role, Driver said: “My job as a youth team coach is to work with a good group of players and turn it into something that in two years the manager is comfortable taking into the development squad with a view to a year after that, getting them into the professional side of it.

“We’re working on the things we need to work on, on the pitch and off the pitch, and turning it into something that the gaffer can make use of in a couple of years’ time.”

Although Driver admitted he wasn’t the best footballer in his day, producing the likes of Simeon Jackson, who has since made his Premier League debut for Norwich City, in his time at Rushden, clearly shows he has a good eye at spotting young talent.

He continued: “I played at a decent local level. I did running more when I was younger and came to football late.

“I can’t ping the ball 40 yards into the bottom corner, I get the players to do that.

“I had seven years at Rushden, a couple of years working in development centres, five years as a youth coach and was assistant manager to Justin Edinburgh at the end of last season.

“I prefer the youth side and prefer to be in control of what I’m doing and the players I’m working with. That’s why I didn’t try to get another assistant job and I looked to get back into youth development.

“With all due respect to Rushden, this is a proper football club, set up as a football club.

“The medical science and support is much better, the crowd support is much better, 5,500, 6,000 was never heard of at Rushden. This is set up as a football club.”

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