The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

WHEN John Still left Da­gen­ham to sip from the poi­soned chal­ice at Lu­ton Town, it seemed the height of mad­ness.

The 63-year-old had a job for life with the Dag­gers, the club he’d led from the Con­fer­ence to League One in nearly a decade at the helm. He was se­cure, loved by fans and lived just down the road from the Vic.

Lu­ton, on the other hand, had been through five man­agers in as many years, each one hav­ing failed to win over a Ke­nil­worth Road crowd still seething with frus­tra­tion and bit­ter­ness at the Hat­ters’ de­scent into Non­League.

But, as with the rough di­a­monds he plucks from the parks of East Lon­don, Still’s judg­ment was spot on. A year down the line, Lu­ton have stormed clear at the Con­fer­ence sum­mit. By the time you read this, they could be cham­pi­ons.

And un­like Da­gen­ham, they will tackle the fourth tier with the big­gest crowds in the di­vi­sion, Cham­pi­onship po­ten­tial and a top-six budget.

Still saw that, of course. And he also knew that no man­ager in the busi­ness could ri­val his knowl­edge of Lon­don’s lower leagues, nor his in­tu­ition for sens­ing talent.

That’s why he has suc­ceeded where so many failed. And why, next sea­son, Lu­ton will be THE team to beat in League Two.

PO­TEN­TIAL: John Still

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