Nathan Jones is prepared to pick development stars in his first team, providing they earn their chance.

The Hatters’ boss watched on from the stands at Hitchin Town as first-teamers Paul Benson and Magnus Okuonghae started for Luton Town’s development side, who lost 2-0 to AFC Bournemouth’s U21s.

But despite the defeat the Welshman was delighted to get minutes under some of his players’ belts.

“It was important to get minutes into certain players,” said the 42-year-old manager.

“It was good to see a couple of players. Obviously it was a difficult pitch for them to play on but it was good for them to get minutes because when they are called upon they’ll be a bit more ready.

“I obviously know them [Dan Potts and Mark O’Brien] and have seen them play before, but I haven’t seen them play for Luton since I’ve been here.

“It was good to finally see them and they benefitted from the experience of having that 90 minutes against quite a fluent Bournemouth side.”

The former defender wants the development side to focus on their youngsters moving forward.

“In the past, because of the size of the squad it’s been pros playing because when you’ve got 27 pros you’re able to field two teams,” added Jones.

“That’s what the games are about [getting youngster in] and moving forward the squad will be streamlined.

“We’ll have a mixture with those who are doing really well in the 18s and development squad being pushed because it should be a pathway for them.

“We wanna create a pathway for them. Those who do well will hopefully end up in the first team.

“As long as they continue to do well then they’ll get opportunities.”