Hatters snap up Welling defender Franks

Luton Town have signed Welling United’s England C international defender Fraser Franks for an undisclosed fee, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 23-year-old centre-half has signed a contract at Kenilworth Road until 2015 and becomes the the club’s first permanent signing of the January transfer window.

Franks began his career in the youth ranks at Chelsea before he moved to Brentford where he signed his first professional contract in 2008.

After failing to break into the Bees’ first team, the defender moved to AFC Wimbledon in 2010 and was a regular in the Dons side until he was sidelined by injury, although remained part of the squad that beat the Town in the 2011 play-off final.

Franks moved to Welling in 2012 and helped the Wings storm to the Conference South title last year, where he was named in the division’s team of the season.

His form for Welling saw him called-up to the England C side in the summer and he made his debut in the Three Lions’ 6-1 win over Bermuda in June, before scoring during the 2-2 against the Czech Republic.

This season, Franks has been a regular in the Wings back-line, but was unfortunately sent-off in the Hatters’ 2-1 win in November.

Speaking before the transfer, Still had hinted that he was looking to make a permanent addition.

He said: “There is a little bit of development, things are going along nicely and what I’m trying to do, I’m now trying to identify (players).

“We have to loan in emergencies, with no (Andy) Parry or (Alex) Lacey we’ve had a problem at centre half which was filled by Joe (Davis) and Alfie Mawson.

“They’ve both gone back and that has been filled by Ryan Inniss, but really I like my own players.

“Sometimes you have to loan, I don’t like loaning, I really don’t. But if you didn’t loan and just went and bought your own, you’d have too many players.

“We’ve been fortunate that our loans have been decent players, I do want a squad of my own players and if this window allows me to do one or two other things in terms of my own players, I’ll be a little bit happier.”

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