Luton Town midfielder Luke Berry never believed he’d be a Premier League player, and two credits two managers for making it a reality
Luton Town are set to begin their Premier League campaign on Saturday at the Amex Stadium against Brighton, and a number of players have risen through the divisions with the Hatters since they were in the lower reaches of the Football League.
Among them is midfielder Luke Berry, who joined Luton Town at the beginning of the 2017/18 season when they were still in League Two. Last term, during Luton’s promotion to the Premier League, Berry played 21 games and is set for his debut in the top tier of English football at 31-years-old.
During his six seasons at the club, Berry has played under three permanent managers, but credits two of them specifically for developing him and the club into a Premier League outfit.
“I never believed I’d be a Premier League player before I came to Luton – he [Nathan Jones] gave me that belief and the pointers to improve my game,” Berry tells FourFourTwo.
“That’s what he did when he came back, too [in 2020]. Nathan knew a lot of the group and just believed that we were good enough to stay in the Championship. He gave us confidence and allowed us to play with freedom.”
When Jones left for Southampton in November 2022, Luton turned to former Watford manager Rob Edwards. The Welshman worked wonders at Kenilworth Road, which eventually culminated in a trip to Wembley and promotion via the play-offs.
“Rob Edwards carried on what Nathan did – he pushes you and tries to make you a better player,” Berry explains.
“We didn’t change a massive amount, but he tweaked things to make us a better team with the ball and without. He improved us and gave us calmness on the ball.”
More Luton Town stories
In FourFourTwo’s Season Preview, we take a look at how all 92 clubs in the top four tiers of English football will fare in the upcoming campaign – including how Luton’s return to the top flight solely focuses on survival.
Meanwhile, FourFourTwo looks back at 2003, when the club’s owners proposed a 70,000 seater replacement for Kenilworth Road, complete with a Formula One track.
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