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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 midfielder Luke Berry never believed he’d be a Premier League player, and two credits two managers for making it a reality

Luke Berry of Luton Town celebrates after Fankaty Dabo of Coventry City (not pictured) misses a penalty in the penalty shoot out which results in a promotion to the Premier League for Luton Town in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final between Coventry City and Luton Town at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Luton players celebrate after beating Coventry on penalties at Wembley in the Championship play-off final in May 2023.

Berry didn’t believe he’d ever play Premier League football, but after beating Coventry in the play-off final he is set to make his top-tier debut (Image credit: Getty Images)

“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.”

Rob Edwards, Manager of Luton Town looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Luton Town at Molineux on August 02, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Rob Edwards has continued what Nathan Jones started  (Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Former Hatters manager Mick Harford recalls the day the club were deducted 30 points when they were in League Two. 

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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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture’s websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future. 

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