LONG-SERVING Luton stalwart Wayne Turner is excited to get cracking after being appointed Luton’s head of youth, writes Mark Wood.
Having been associated with the club for some 20 years as a player, coach and assistant manager, Turner is relishing a more hands-on role again after helping out with the U16s for the last four years.
He said: “Originally I volunteered for four years on a part-time basis helping with the U15 and U16s. It’s been good for me and the club and very rewarding.
“That was me dipping my toe in the water and keeping my other interests going outside football.
“I’m kind of putting my feet in rather than my toe and hopefully being an asset to the football club.”
New academy manager Turner replaces Gregg Broughton following his departure for Norwich City and is part of numerous changes to Luton’s youth set-up with Matt Stannard and Lee Cowley becoming his right-hand men.
It has seen a large number of casual additions while they have retained the services of Joe Deeney (U15-16 manager), Jordan McCann (U11-U14 manager) and Scott Smith (U8-10 manager), who all have three part-time staff each.
Turner said: “Gregg’s been there for six years and done an excellent job at the football club.
“I’m excited to step into his shoes with the help of Lee Cowley and Matt Stannard and all the other lads.
“By Gregg going there appears to be big changes, but there would have had to be big changes to fulfil the EPPP criteria for the club to compete. It’s spreading the workload but that’s been imparted by the EPPP.
“There’s more work that’s come the way of all youth set-ups. Even if you worked 24/7 you still couldn’t do it alone.”
Town are gunning for grade three status and Turner feels he has plenty of support.
He said: “It’s one to relish because I’ve got to know the staff over the last four years and I’m going into a stable environment.
“I feel totally at ease with my support.
“It’s such a role that I am relying on the support of the lads above and we are a team.
“I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can keep producing players for the first team and for the future of the club.”
Turner also feels that he will be able to offer a range of additional skills to the role.
He added: “It’s a fantastic role. There are certain things I can step in and out of.
“If I feel I need to coach I can coach. If I feel I need to coach the coaches I will. If I need to step back I will.
“I can sit and watch the players when I want to. The role is open-ended for me.
“Hopefully I will be different to Gregg with my coaching qualifications and experience.”
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