Stuart Fleetwood Q&A

Ahead of the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs starting on Sunday evening we caught up with a man who played a prominent role in the Town’s last play-off campaign, Stuart Fleetwood. We asked him about that play-off challenge, what advice he has for the LTFC players about to embark on the latest tilt and what he has planned for the future.

Here is what Stuart had to say…..

LTST: Hi Stuart, if I can take you back 5 years, we had just beaten Fleetwood to secure a spot in the Conference playoffs where we would face Wrexham in the semi-final. What were your thoughts about the tie heading into it?

SF: I remember being drawn against Wrexham on the final day. We were something like 17 points behind them but had a great run of form. We hadn’t performed well against them during the season but we had some momentum going into the game. There was a huge atmosphere surrounding it.

LTST: We were at home in the first leg against Wrexham and you came out on fire. The Wrexham defence had no answer to yourself and Andre Gray. How special a night was that?

SF: It was probably the greatest atmosphere I’d experienced at Kenilworth Rd. We started on the front foot and myself and Andre seemed to have clicked in recent weeks. The goals were high quality and the crowd were buzzing. We should have put the game to bed 3, maybe 4-0. But it was still on a knife edge for the 2nd leg.

LTST: After seeing off Wrexham over the two legs we were through to the Wembley final against York. How was the confidence in the squad ahead of the final?

SF: We were confident obviously but there was this air of York being our bogey team. I remember everyone talking about it and it was playing on our mind a little. But anyone had a chance at Wembley and we prepared as any other team would have.

LTST: Despite a good start in the final it wasn’t to be for us. Where do you think it went wrong that day?

SF: We had too many players on a 6/10 on the day. Myself included. An amazing start but we didn’t deserve to win. Regardless of the winning goal being offside. It was heartbreaking.

LTST: You’ve been part of a playoff winning side in your career. What qualities are needed to come through the playoffs? What advice would you give to the current Town squad heading into the playoffs?

SF: It’s all about momentum and being cool. People get carried away and have a rush of blood but the more cool players you have in the team, the more likely you are to win. Also, to win at any cost. It’s a one off game, don’t have any regrets.

LTST: How do you rate Luton’s chances in the upcoming playoffs? Is there anyone you think we should fear?

SF: The playoffs are a lottery. Crowd, conditions, decisions all play a part. Luton will have a huge backing, that can help massively. Especially if it intimidates the opposition. If Luton weren’t to win it then Exeter will be strong due to their playoff experience and a side I also know well.

LTST: Let’s look back at your time at Kenilworth Road. You were here for two years and in that time had a good relationship with the Town fans. How do you look back on that time? What memories stand out for you?

SF: I loved it here. It was the pressure I enjoyed most. I was a marmite player, it was 50/50 if people liked me or not but my goals spoke for themselves I think. The 2nd season didn’t end how I’d wished but football is a ruthless business and it helped the club in the long term.

LTST: Do you still look out for Luton’s results?

SF: Yes. Always. I like to see how they are doing, it’s takes me a while to look at all my old clubs results but I look fondly back at my time there.

LTST: You spent most of this season on loan at Weymouth where you were the top scorer. How have you found playing at that level having spent much of your career in the Football League?

SF: I don’t really look at the level. It’s a great club (Weymouth). People get too caught up with playing at the highest level. I’ve played with some of the best players I’ve seen who play at non league level. I love scoring goals and hope to find a new club soon to add my experience and love of football too.

LTST: Your twitter profile says you are getting your coaching badges. What does the future hold for Stuart Fleetwood? Do you see yourself as a manager one day?

SF: I’ve recently completed my UEFA B badges whilst Completing my Personal Training qualifications also. So I’ve been busy. I enjoy coaching. I can see myself as a number 2 but I would never discount anything. You’ll never know how good or bad you are at something until you try it.

We’d like to thank Fleets for taking the time to answer our questions and give his thoughts and we wish him all the best with the future whether that is scoring more goals or coaching others to do it.

 

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