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ORH welcomes Jake Blackwood

A big welcome to Jake Blackwood who is the first of two new writers to join Oak Road Hatter. Here, Jake reflects on some Luton-related memories in his first write-up, whilst looking ahead to the new Championship campaign...

First LTFC memory

My first Luton game was definitely sometime in 2008. The Hatters would’ve been playing in league 2

and it would have been a time of the downfall when we were dealt a points deduction. My mum

believes it was on the 23rd of August 2008 – A 1-1 home draw against Notts County. As I was only 4

years old, my memory does not stretch that far. My first memorable game was the JPT final against

Scunthorpe at Wembley. Me and my elder brother were amidst the 40,000 Hatters that day.

Favourite LTFC memory

My favourite memory as a Luton fan is a hard one to choose because of the success we have had

over the last 15 years with promotions and the already stated JPT win. But, I would probably have to

go with the promotion celebrations from the Conference. After being stuck in non-league for so long,

it was massive when John Still managed to take us out of the fifth tier. It was vitally important for our

rebuild and set our foundations for our success. The Matt Robinson rap also always pumps me up to

this day!

Favourite goal

My favourite Luton goal is without a doubt George Moncur’s freekick against Portsmouth. The snow,

the curve of the ball, the celebrations, everything was perfect. As soon as he hit it, you knew it was

going in. He just had something magic about him. After that game, I truly felt we were on our way to

the Championship.

Favourite away day

My favourite away day is tied between Newcastle and Walsall. Complete alternates,

Newcastle I loved for the atmosphere, the height and the beauty of the stadium, and although I still

believe we were robbed to this day (Danny Hylton’s offside goal) it showed Luton can compete with

anybody. Walsall however, was a different type of special, after feeling so frustrated and defeated it seemed like we were going to go home with nothing but at the last second LuaLua found the back of

the net and jumped into the crowd right next to me. It was amazing!

Favourite current player

My favourite current player is Allan Campbell. When he first arrived, I was really excited but thought

he would be a player for the future. However, he came in and cemented his position straightaway,

giving 110% every week. I like him because he is a proper footballer, no-nonsense, hardworking and

always short and t-shirt no matter the weather - hardcore. I’m really glad he got his Scotland call-up

and believe he should play for them more often. Hopefully, we can keep a hold of him as he’s not

even at full potential yet.

Allan Campbell in possession against West Brom - Photo copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC

Favourite past player

My favourite past Luton player would have to be Mark Tyler. Whilst I was growing up Luton were in

their Conference era and Mark Tyler’s; loyalty, longevity and passion were things I always admired.

Even though he was probably too good for the Conference, he stuck with us and despite his size, he

filled the goal, commanded his box and made some incredible saves. He always reflected a leader

and was a great role model and player. That is why he is one of/if not my favourite past player.

One player you would nab from a Championship rival

One rival Championship player I’d like to sign would be Andreas Weimann from Bristol City, an

unlikely one due to the wages that the Robins can pay, but last season at thirty years old, Weimann was

the third-highest goal scorer in the league, netting 20 from attacking midfielder. His creativity is also

a large aspect of his game as he got 9 assists. I think attacking midfield is a role we

need to strengthen, but it’s unlikely we would be able to sign the Austrian International. Hopefully,

Clark and Berry can stay fit this season or Mendes Gomes can step up to the role. Another player

similar to Weimann who I’d love is Jed Wallace now of West Brom, a similar sort of player.

Outlandish 2022/23 prediction

My outlandish prediction for this season is that we will see a goalkeeper score for the Hatters

whether that be James Shea from a last-minute corner or Matt Macey from a goal kick (or now Ethan Horvath). I wouldn’t hold your breath though, I believe the last keeper to score for Luton was Tony Reid back in the 60s,

however, he also played up front.

2022/23 position prediction

This season I think Luton will finish in 8th position. Although it seems like a slight step backwards, it

would still be a strong finish proving our consistency in the tough league. Hopefully, I am proven

wrong and we achieve play-offs or even more once again.

Featured image: Copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC

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