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The end of the dip, the start of the rise - Luton Town

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"Here's Carroll, flicks it on, oh and surely with Wilshere! Yes, it's in! Jack Wilshere has won the Champions League for Luton Town against all odds, lead by mastermind Joe Hudson! What an achievement! He will surely go down in history as one of the greatest ever managers to grace the game, up there with the likes of Clough, Ferguson, Dalglish..." It was then when I woke up from an incredible dream.. I opened up my laptop, opened up the internet browser, went onto BBC Football, and there was a headline glaring at me in the face..

Luton sack manager Money
Chiefs at Luton Town football club today confirmed that they have terminated the contract of manager Richard Money with immediate effect after a fall out over his wage budget. Assistant manager Gary Brabin takes temporary charge at the club, but the board expect to appoint a new manager within the next week. They have opened the door for any person to apply and take over.. literally.

"Christ". I said to myself.. I sat at the desk just for a minute thinking about the future of my beloved club.. until I thought, "Sod it". I ripped open my wardrobe and peered inside.. nope, nothing suitable to wear, time to go shopping. I just popped any clothes on, grabbed my wallet and phone, put my jacket on and nipped quickly into town to buy a new suit. "I think I'll need more than just the one if I can do it.." I said to myself whilst walking past a bunch of teenage girls, who stared at me as if I was dancing on the street wearing a sombrero and dressed as a tomato.

A couple of hours later, I walked out of a suit hiring store, happy as Larry with my bags, eager to get home and change. When I got home I rushed up to my bedroom and looked at my self in the mirror... "Hello Mr. Hudson" I said to myself, before stripping and carefully putting my new suit on. I looked at the time.. it's only 10am, might aswell finish off my season on FM11 as Luton.. Premier League champions already, facing Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. I then thought again, saying to myself "I better not, don't want to ruin my big chance over a little game do we now?". I then grabbed my CV, phone and keys, put my jacket on and made my way down to Kenilworth Road.

After a nervous, long 2-hour wait in the reception.. it was finally my turn to enter Mr. Owen's office. I looked back at the waiting room.. some faces I hadn't a clue who they were.. some I recognised as I've probably seen them manage a team at Kenilworth Road. Anyway, in I go..

As I entered I saw Luton's chairman Nick Owen in his swivelling chair by his desk.. it was quite intimidating.. you'd have thought he was Simon Cowell or Alan Sugar by the way he looked at you. "Hello!" He said, "I'm Mr. Owen, the chairman of Luton Town football club! Whats your name, sir?"

"Mr Joseph Hudson, sir. It's a pleasure to meet you, may I take a seat?" I stuttered.

"Yes you may take a seat, Mr. Hudson".

The interview was about half-an-hour long. My leg's were shaking all the way through it.. but I think I did well. He didn't ask to look at my CV, luckily, he just asked me many questions about what I'd do managing the team and about my relationship and feeling about the club. I went back home feeling very good about myself.


---------- Post added at 09:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:10 AM ----------

The next day, I thought I would stay in waiting for any news. I got up at 10am, popped a shirt on and pretty much played FM11 all day, I started a new save as Luton to jot down any tactics that may be useful should I get this job.. and had a look at some signings I could make. I signed several players, and got sucked into the game you'd have thought I had forgot I had a pending job application. Then the phone rang.. "Hello?" I gulped.

"Hello there, is this Mr. Hudson?"
"Yes, yes it is Mr. Hudson. Can I help you?"
"Well, yeah you can. You made a job application yesterday to become manager of Luton Town football club, am I right in thinking that?"
"Yes, you are correct."
"Good, well, after plenty of discussions, conversations and meeting with the boardroom, we have decided that.."

My heart then paused.. I think I knew what was coming.

"..you are the man for us to bring the club up! Congratulations! Your application has been chosen"
"Oh my goodness. I am SPEECHLESS! Thank you, you don't know how much this means to me.."
"I think I do actually.. anyway are you able to make your way down to Kenilworth Road today?"
"Yeah, I've got all day."
"Good! Please get down here as soon as possible, and just enter the reception and we'll take it from there!"
"Okay, thank you! I'll see you later then?"
"Yeah, goodbye Mr. Hudson"

I carefully put the phone down and had a moment to myself before dancing in celebration and bursting out with laughter. I put on the same suit as yesterday, picked up my keys and phone, put my jacket on and walked down to Kenilworth Road as quickly and calmly as my legs could take me. What an opportunity this will be for me.
 
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Cheers guys! :)
--
I walked down Hatters Lane, outside Kenilworth Road, and there was Nick Owen waiting for me on the pavement. I shook hands with him nervously, "Alright", I said, he replied with "Good morning Mr. Hudson, follow me". So I followed, and he lead me to the reception at Kenilworth Road, and then to his office, where on the desk was a contract ready to sign with the black byro pen lying on top of it.

"Take a seat" insisted Mr. Owen.. he pulled the chair from the desk for me and then I sat, it was very comfortable.
"Now then Mr. Hudson, we have some business to do"
"We certainly do!"
"Yes.. anyway, here is the contract. It is a contract running upto June 2012, with a salary of £3,000 a week, are you happy with that?"
"Yes, extremely happy. It's six times the amount I currently earn!"
"Haha, I guess you'll be rolling in money then! Before you sign the contract.. do you accept that your expectation is to WIN the Blue Square Premier? Although, we would be generally happy with promotion via the play-offs as competition is very fierce this year."
"Okay, fair enough. Have I got any budget to build on?"
"Our squad is more than good enough to win the league, but the wage budget should enable you to bring in four or five new players on a free, you'll have no money to buy players, though."
"Okay fair enough."
"If you could just sign there please.. thank you! We can now announce you as new manager of Luton Town football club!"
"Thank you very much! I very much look forward to working with the staff here and hopefully I can help the club rise!"
 
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As I came out of the office, and out of the stadium, plenty of people from the media were there to interview me about my new job at Kenilworth Road, firms such as BBC Hertfordshire, ITV, Talksport, and Heart FM were there to listen to what had to be said by me..

Interviewer - Hello Joe, congratulations on your appointment of the manager of Luton Town football club. First of all, how happy are you to be the man incharge?
Me - Well, speechless really. Two days ago I was only dreaming of managing them and the closest I came was playing as them on Football Manager. It's a dream come true.. I am extremely pleased about it and exciting about times coming up.
Interviewer - What do you have in store for the club?
Me - Of course, first things first that our aim is to win promotion back to the Football League. The club have had a mixed past few years, winning League One back in 2005, coming close to the Premiership but then getting relegated for three seasons on the bounce whilst winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the process. I hope to bring back success to the club.. and I will look to take them as furthest as I can.
Interview - Are you looking to make any signings?
Me - I've got a decent transfer budget to work on. We've already got some top quality players in the squad, Barnes-Homer, Gnakpa, Keane, Wilmott etc.. but I am looking to improve the team. I already have a couple of players in mind.. hopefully we can sort something out with them over the next few days before other clubs come in for them. Teams such as Crawley, Wimbledon, Fleetwood, Darlington will be looking to improve their squads to match us, so we must also improve to make sure we stay better than them in terms of quality.
Interviewer - There have been rumours that you are looking at Wrexham forward Andy Mangan, are these true?
Me - All I can say if that Andy is a top player. I do not want to give anything away at this stage.. I'm just concentrating on my job.
Interview - Thanks, Joe.
Me - Thank you.


Could this man, Andy Magan, soon become a Luton player?
 
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As a Luton fan I'll be following, and hoping you do well. Pretty good so far.
 
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Hudson straight into transfer market

Luton Town fans were left licking their lips at the prospect of new signing Febian Brandy on a free transfer. The Manchester United loanee had been attracting many football league clubs, and it comes a suprise he chose to join The Hatters. "This is a wonderful opportunity for me to get my career back on track, this is a big club who have have some unfortunate times recently. I am pleased to be able to help them achieve success.". Just as Luton fans couldn't be happier, just a few hours later another great signing was announced as winger Ismael Fofana joined the club, the winger had been a free agent since being released by Charlton Athletic.

Days later, Hudson also announced the signings of left-back Darren Lough and midfielder Francisco Duran as they joined Febian and Ismael in the training ground.

---------- Post added at 11:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:15 PM ----------

Later in an interview, Hudson revealed this would be his preferred full-strength line-up come the start of the season,

"I have confidence in every one of the players, the eleven on the sheet, the five on the bench, and the rest of the training ground. I am confident this is finally Luton's year."



---------- Post added at 01:23 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 11:24 PM ----------

SEASON GETS UNDERWAY

The Blue Square Bet Premier season gets underway as favourites Luton Town take on recently relegated Grimsby Town at Kenilworth Road. Crawley Town, AFC Wimbledon, Darlington, York City and Wrexham are the other promotion contenders, and will be looking to challenge the Hatters.

Luton start season with a bang


Luton Town 5-2 Grimsby Town
Brandy (3), Gnakpa (28), Walker (47 pen, 52), Keane (49);
Bore (68), Hughes (pen 72)

Luton Town fans were left speechless at a dazzling attacking performance by their team. Luton started well, Brandy firing over within seconds after a stunning ball by Keith Keane, but Febian Brandy then got his goal a couple of minutes later, with a terrific move starting from a throw-in. Lough took it, Keane released Brandy once again with a killer ball, Watt looked to be jockeying him into a dead end, but the former-Swansea striker unleashed a terrific low shot into the far corner from a narrow angle. Jason Walker wasted a great chance to double the lead on 9 minutes, but only hit the side netting. On 28 minutes Luton eventually got a second when Ismael Fofana released Claude Gnakpa, who shrugged off the challenge of Watt before slotting into the corner on one one from 12-yards. Just seconds into the second half, Luton were awarded a penalty as Lee Ridley handled from Brandy's cross, Jason Walker stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. Just a moment later Luton had a fourth, Febian Brandy danced through the Grimsby defence, avoiding several challenges, his shot was well stopped by the keeper, but Keith Keane was there to tap home. Luton had momentum on their side, and it got them a fifth goal, just three in nine minutes, Ismael Fofana headed a ball on, it put Jason Walker in the clear, and he blasted home from just outside the box. After that, Grimsby enjoyed a good period of pressure infront of the Luton goal, and the pressure told when Peter Bore picked up a Darron Kempson ball, and rifled home an unstoppable shot from 18-yards, but it was surely only a consolation. Grimsby were then given a chance to get another consolation, Bore's free-kick was met by the hand of Duran, penalty given, and Bryan Hughes slotted it home. Luton played the last 15 minutes out for a resounding victory, which could have been won by a larger margin.

Luton waste plenty of chances to win​
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Luton Town
Jolley (15); Brandy (29)
Luton were left wondering why they didn't win this one comfortably as wasted chances meant they only had to settle for a point against AFC Wimbledon. After a cagey first 15 minutes, The Wombles broke the deadlock as Danny Kedwell found himself in a good position, but his low shot was palmed away by Mark Tyler, only for it to be turned into an empty net by the grateful Christian Jolley. Luton straight away pushed for their equaliser, Ismael Fofana wasting a wonderful opportunity to level. Luton did level just before the half-hour mark, Febian Brandy picking it up on the half-way line, skipping past two challenges, before firing an unstoppable shot into the top-corner from 20-yards. An injury scare then came for Luton just a minute later, Brandy forced off, replaced by Matty Barnes-Homer, luckily it was only severe cramp and he would not miss the vital game against Crawley on Saturday. Luton created plenty of chances in the second half, the best falling to Jason Walker, who could only put it wide from 6-yards as Luton had to settle for their point.

Same story, same outcome​
Luton Town 1-1 Crawley Town
Brandy (4); Tubbs (59)
Once again, Luton Town fans were wondering why they didn't come away with all three points in this early title six-pointer against Crawley Town. The Hatters got off to a great start, Febian Brandy pouncing on a loose-ball after Fofana had a shot well stopped by Kuipers in the Crawley goal. Jason Walker could've doubled the lead just before the break, but his shot from 10-yards was met by a brilliant diving save by Kuipers. On the hour mark, Darren Lough with plenty of time and space dallied on the ball for too long, David Hunt caught him in possession, and his cross was met by a thumping header from Crawley star man Matt Tubbs, who could have won the game late on, but screwed his one on one chance well over.​
 
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Cheers lads :D

---------- Post added at 02:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:50 AM ----------

Luton thrash Fleetwood as Brandy stars
Fleetwood Town 0-5 Luton Town
Brandy (3, 5, 39, 54), Walker (72)

Febian Brandy put on a masterclass as Luton Town thrashed Fleetwood Town to send out a message to all promotion rivals. The ex-Swansea City striker opened the scoring after three minutes, tapping home after Claude Gnakpa drilled a cross across the box, unfortunately the winger injured himself in the making of the goal, and had to be forced off. The Hatters continued their rally straight from the kick-off, Brandy being put through by Shane Blackett, and then he slot home his second. Fleetwood enjoyed some pressure for the remainder of the half, but could not resist this fantastic Luton counter attack, Lough, Fofana, and Walker all involved in some neat football before Febian Brandy completed his hatrick, blasting into the top corner from 20-yards. The wonderkid netted his fourth superbly, dancing with the ball inside the box, teasing defenders before unleashing an unstoppable low drive from a tight angle to wrap up the points. Jason Walker got the fifth, tapping home after Brandy's shot was saved to complete the rout.

Two injury worries as youngster bought in on loan
Key players Claude Gnakpa and Zdenek Kroca both picked up injuries in the mauling of Fleetwood, and will both be out for 4-5 weeks and 7-8 weeks respectively. It would be hard to try and cope without them, but we should make it through as we have plenty of talent as backup such as Robbie Wilmott, Shane Blackett, Luke Graham. Also, Southampton youngster Ryan Doble has joined the club on loan for the rest of the season. He is rated highly by scouts and plays in an attacking midfield role.

Walker inspires great comeback
Luton Town 3-1 Mansfield Town
Craig (own goal 63), Walker (74, 89); Connor (2)

Another well deserved victory for Luton Town in a match they dominated, despite an early scare by Mansfield forward Paul Connor. A free-kick was whupped into the area, he lost his marker, and drilled home from 8-yards. Luton wasted a few chances in the first half, with Keane pulling the strings in midfield once again. It took until 63 minutes to find a way past Mansfield, and for the unfortunate Nathan Craig who sliced into his own net after Walker flicked a cross towards goal. Jason Walker then got onto the scoresheet himself, put through on goal, and slotting home to give Luton a deserved lead, Walker then killed the game off late on, great work by Brandy down the right, and his pacey cross was met at the far post by the ex-Barrow striker. A well-fought three points for the Hatters.
 
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Smash and grab victory for Hatters
Cambridge United 0-1 Luton Town
Brandy (39)

Perhaps undeserved, but it is still a vital three points in the bag, and a third win on the bounce for Luton. Cambridge completely dominated the first half, missing plenty of chances and had a strong penalty appeal as Shane Blackett hacked down Daryl Clare. Luton took the lead as half-time approached, Febian Brandy peeling away from his marker to stroke home a low cross from close range. Cambridge desperately looked for an equaliser in the second period, with Danny Wright getting a golden chance in injury time, but blasting way over from inside the 6-yard box.

Comfortable victory over newcomers
Luton Town 3-1 Newport County
Brandy (43), Blackett (53), Wilmott (79); Rose (63)

This time The Hatters deserved their victory, with a comfortable one over Welsh side Newport County. It was a first half completely dominated by Luton, and the goal came when Febian Brandy skipped past two players on the wing, cut inside and then saw his shot cannon off the near-post and into the net for an impressive ninth goal in seven games. The second came eight minutes after the break, Shane Blackett heading home his first of the season from a Wilmott corner. Newport found a way back into the game, though, ten minutes later, Danny Rose tapping home a rebound after Charlie Griffin's shot was well saved by Tyler, but the points were wrapped up later on, Robbie Wilmott curling home a delightful free-kick for his first goal of the club.


The table makes good reading so far after the first month, in second place behind leaders Altrincham, who we meet next away from home.

August awards
Players of the month
Young Players of the month
1. Steve Lennon (Newport County)
1. Shaun Densmore (Altrincham)​
2. Damien Reeves (Altrincham)
2. Nathan Modest (Darlington)​
3. Febian Brandy (Luton Town)
3. Febian Brandy (Luton Town)

Managers of the month
1. Ken McKenna (Altrincham, 266 manager points)
2. Tim Flowers (Newport County, 250 manager points)
3. Joe Hudson (Luton Town, 233 manager points)
 
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Well-fought win in summit clash
Altrincham 2-3 Luton Town
Welch (12), Hewson (36); Brandy (32, 46), Keane (34)

Altrincham may have thought they were unlucky in this match, as 1st clashed with 2nd. Altrincham ended the game with three disallowed goals.. two were the correct decision but the other questionable. They started the game very well, Sam Hewson's great free-kick found the head of Michael Welch, who saw his header glance into the far corner. Luton replied with domination, but took 20 minutes to even the scores, hit man Febian Brandy picking up the ball from 20-yards, and curling a delicious shot into the corner of the net, just beyond the keeper's reach. The Hatters scored again straight from the kick-off, Brandy rounding the keeper, but seeing his soft shot cleared off the line, but Keith Keane was on hand with the rebound. Altrincham replied straight away, though. Sam Hewson trying his luck from all of 30-yards, and seeing his shot fly into the corner. After an electrifying five minutes, the game calmed down, and just after half-time, Brandy finished off a sexy move, slotting home first time from 16-yards after a lovely ball through from winger Robbie Wilmott. Luton saw out the rest of the game, could've had more, but it still goes down as a great win.

Brandy stars in Eastbourne romp
Luton Town 4-0 Eastbourne Borough
Brandy (12, 50, 68), Wilmott (84)

Febian Brandy once again stole the show with a hatrick as Luton thrashed Eastbourne Borough. He opened the scoring early on, cutting inside from a wide position before slotting home from a narrow angle. The rest of the half was quite dire, but The Hatters started the second with a bang. Brandy scored again, tackling defender Mitchell Nelson, before blasting towards the near post and into the net. Brandy completed his hatrick on 68 minutes, collecting a ball from Wilmott, taking on three players before curling home from just inside the box. A wonderful goal. Robbie Wilmott then rounded off a fine win with a cracking effort from 25-yards which flew into the top corner.

Hatters not even at best to beat Gateshead
Luton Town 3-0 Gateshead
Brandy (19, 82), Fofana (45+2)

Luton Town didn't even need to be at their best to take apart lowly Gateshead at Kenilworth Road. They opened the scoring after 19 minutes, Wilmott's great run down the wing, and his low cross found Febian Brandy at the far post to side-foot the ball into the net from a yard out. On the stroke of half-time a second goal came as Brandy's cross took a deflection, and into the path of Ismael Fofana who cooly slot home through a crowd of players from 10-yards out. Brandy then put the icing on the cake, rounding the keeper before tapping home. He thought he had a hatrick, his header finding the net on 88 minutes, only for it to be disallowed for offside. A well deserved win for Luton.


16 goals in 10 league games for Febian Brandy, can any defences stop him on this form?
 
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