We have obtained the views of the Luton Town Supporters Trust on our first signing of the new season, James Justin. Media Officer, Kevin Harper gives us an insight….
“Although he is still only 21, James Justin is someone I have followed for a number of years given that he came through the youth setup at Luton Town FC.
As Luton fans, we take great interest and pride in our academy products, not least because as our club fell on hard times after being condemned to the Conference 10 years ago, funding for the youth teams was cancelled, and it was us supporters who rallied together to finance it.
I first came across ‘JJ’ when he was part of the youth team in the 2015-16 season. Against the odds that side saw off bigger academy sides to reach the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup, where they were knocked out 1-0 by Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Justin was a midfielder who caught the eye throughout that run and it was pretty obvious then that he would go on to graduate to our first-team.
He made his senior debut off the bench in the final game of that season, and then made his first start in the Capital One Cup against Aston Villa the following year, where he played left-back due to injury. By then he had established himself as a right-back, so his versatility was obvious from an early stage.
He has been a regular in the team in the last two campaigns, both of which resulted in promotion. His first season was in the right-back role and then last term he made the left-back spot his own.
Playing in a diamond, his energy and comfort on the ball was always hugely important and as time went on he took on more responsibility. He was the taker of our set-pieces in League One last term and contributed a number of assists and some important goals. He has the natural athleticism to take a player on, but doesn’t lack for defensive ability either.
You will see his footballing attributes at their best in no time at all, but it is the person behind the footballer that impressed me as much as his skills. They say never meet your heroes but I’m delighted I’ve met JJ and got a chat to him on a number of occasions.
He is a very grounded young man, who possesses a confidence in his own ability without allowing any sort of ego to take over. He is a hard working individual who constantly wants to improve and be the best he can be, all of which are admiral traits but at no stage did shirk his responsibilities off the pitch.
At the Supporters’ Trust we do a monthly podcast which the club allow us access to the players for. Each season we have done it we have asked JJ if he would join us and he never said no. We also run the club’s end of season awards night where JJ has won awards and he has put himself up for interviews without issue.
Last season our awards evening clashed with the EFL one, and with him being in the League 1 team of the year he had to go there but still made time to pre-record a speech accepting his young player of the season award. On top of all that he is the patron of the Luton Town Disabled Supporters Association.
Whether on the pitch or off it, JJ is an extremely impressive young man who is destined to go to the very top of the game. He leaves Luton with our best wishes, and Hatters supporters around the globe will follow his progress with interest.”
To see the latest news from the Luton Town Supporters Trust click here