Jon Shaw – The Key To Luton Going Up?
Luton Town have bolstered their attacking options already this summer, signing Scott Rendell and Jon Shaw, and it’s the latter who many are tipping to lead Luton Town back to the Football League after three playoff heartbreaks in row.
Both of The Hatters’ new frontmen are what you might call journeymen, having played for more than twenty clubs between them, and both have been loaned out more times than the average footballer. So have they got what it takes to cope with the expectation at Kenilworth Road this coming season?
Twenty five year old Rendell joined Luton from Wycombe Wanderers for the obligatory undisclosed fee (how do we still have those in this day and age!) and he will be looking to finally settle down at a club and start banging the goals in. He has had ten separate loan spells since 2005, and has yet to reach fifty league appearances for any one club. He has shown he can be prolific on occasion though. Two separate spells at Cambridge United saw him bang in thirty goals in a little over fifty appearances, and he also hit double figures at Torquay United and Wycombe Wanderers. Hatters fans will certainly be hoping he brings that sort of form to their team next season.
Yorkshireman Shaw is a more prolific striker than his new teammate, having bagged more than fifty goals in two seasons at Gateshead. He joined Luton on a free transfer after his two year deal in the north-east expired and rejected a new one. He has a 1-in-3 scoring record during his career, which has seen the 28 year old take in nine clubs prior to his big move to Bedfordshire. His last decent season in terms of goals prior to his time at Gateshead came at Halifax Town in 2007-08, where he netted 26 goals for The Shaymen. That saw him get a move into the Football League with Rochdale, but he never reproduced the form, and he spent time on loan at Crawley, Barrow and Gateshead before moving to Mansfield Town in 2010.
Shaw started out at his home club Sheffield Wednesday, but was unable to make a name for himself at Hillsborough. The fact that he has had a couple of spells in the league and not set the world alight might be a cause for concern for supporters, but if he scores the goals to get them up, I’m sure they’ll be delighted to give him a chance.
For me, Luton are right up there amongst the favourites for promotion, and after those three successive heartbreaks in the playoffs, they will be aiming for nothing less than first place. In Rendell and Shaw, they have two potentially excellent Conference strikers, who could easily net twenty goals apiece. They are both over six foot tall, so whether they can play together or not is open to debate. However, I am sure they will both become firm favourites with the fans.