Alan Neilson has praised the progress of JJ O”Donnell after the 20-year-old penned a three-year deal to stay at Luton.
The versatile players as made nine appearances for Town since joining from St Albans City in January 2010, with four of those games coming this season.
He has also had loan spells at Hampton & Richmond Borough and Thurrock this season in the Blue Square Bet South before manager Paul Buckle recalled him when he took over in March.
Assistant manager Neilson said: “JJ has been absolutely superb since the gaffer has come in.” The former Newcastle defender-turnedcoach picked O’Donnell in the Hatters side that beat Dunstable Town 5-4 in after extra time to claim the Bedfordshire Senior Challenge Cup on Tuesday at Kenilworth Road.
He put in a livewire display, peppering the Blues’ goal with shots, eventually finding the net to make it 2-1 after the South Midlands League Premier Division outfit had taken a two-goal lead.
Alex Lacey also featured at centre back. He was another youngster that Buckle recalled from a loan spell and Neilson thinks that he and O’Donnell have thrived under the new regime.
Neilslon said: “Straight away he [Buckle] called JJ back from Thurrock and Alex from Eastbourne. They were doing really well at their clubs but he wanted them to come in, sample the atmosphere, the training that we are doing.
“Speaking to the manager, the young lads will have a good future at the club. As long as they keep working hard and listen to the coaches, they will progress.
“If they are doing well enough, they will be given a chance.” After extending his stay at Luton, O’Donnell said: “It’s great that the manager has shown faith in me. I’ve learned a lot this season and I hope to use that knowledge next season. Fingers crossed I will be a Football League player.”