Prolific Hatters striker in Edwards' thinking for next season after double EFL award win at Lincoln
Source: Lutontoday

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Luton boss Rob Edwards insists that striker Joe Taylor is definitely in his thinking ahead of next season after the forward won two EFL awards for March.

The 21-year-old began the campaign on loan at League Two Colchester United, where he netted 12 goals in 27 games, a tally that still tops the U's scoring charts some three months on, although former Hatter Cameron McGeehan is now chasing that down. He was then recalled by Town in January and headed to the Imps to test himself at a higher level, quickly adapting to the third tier of English football.

After taking five games to get off the mark, Taylor bagged two in his opening nine games, before a prolific March saw him score six goals in five matches, including a hat-trick against Bristol Rovers and two in the 6-0 thrashing of Cambridge United. It saw the forward named as not just the Sky Bet League One Player of The Month but also the best Young Player in the EFL for the month as well, taking his tally to nine in 17 for his new club.

Striker Joe Taylor heads goalwards for the Hatters last season - pic: Liam SmithStriker Joe Taylor heads goalwards for the Hatters last season - pic: Liam SmithStriker Joe Taylor heads goalwards for the Hatters last season - pic: Liam SmithHis eye for goal is showcased in his overall stats, netting 21 times in 44 outings this term, enjoying a wonderful first full season that could be extended after Lincoln won 1-0 at Oxford United last night to sit just two points away from the play-off places with two games in hand. Although Town aren't sure what league they are going to be in next season yet themselves, Edwards does have the former Peterborough youngster in his thoughts for the 2024-25 campaign, saying: "We'll see what the right thing is for Joe going forward.

"He'd done well in League Two, ticked that off, doing well in League One as well, so we'll have to see what the next thing is for him. It's too early at the moment, we've got a lot of decisions to make between now and the summer, but of course he's in our thinking for next season as well. I want him to concentrate on what he's concentrating on at the moment first and foremost and the reason he's been talked about is because he's concentrating on what he's doing right now and that's performing for Lincoln."

On the award itself, Edwards continued: "It's great recognition for someone who's doing really, really well, so I'm really proud of him. He's had a great year and hopefully he can finish it off as they're in the mix. He's been a big part of their really good form, we're proud of Joe, he's done really well."

Speaking to Lincoln's official website, Taylor, who scored for Luton in their penalty shoot-out play-off final win over Coventry City at Wembley, said: "It's a massive achievement for myself. I've had a really successful month, both personally and with the team. I'm just hoping now that we can carry it on going into the latter stages of the season and earn ourselves that last play-off spot. It's been brilliant to get ourselves to where we are now, given where we were. There's no good in doing what we've done now and not seeing the job out. For us, the aim is the play-offs - it has to be.

"I've loved every second of my loan at Lincoln City - the players, coaching staff and everyone around the club have been brilliant and that has been reflected in the performances and results. Everything about the club is working for me at the moment. The fans get the LNER Stadium rocking on matchdays, and really get behind us on the road, so this award gives me an extra confidence boost going into the final games of the season."

Meanwhile, City's head coach Michael Skubala added: "Joe deserves this award for the work he puts in on the training pitch every day - he's improved as a player throughout his time at the club and has been rewarded with the goals and accolades. But he knows he needs a team to score and, while he's the one whose job it is to put it in the back of the net, he's also shown his willingness to work for the benefit of the whole team and do whatever is needed as part of the gameplan."