Austin Who?-Pete Bucks the Trend
Most of the Clarets fans have been impressed by the club linking up to the US but do any of us know the score about football in the USA? Well one of our co-editors certainly does having spent some time out there a few years ago and having also been involved in US football coaching.
Our controversial co-editor and journalist, Pete Bentley today talks frankly about the Club`s trip to the US and how he thinks we could and should do better. In a gritty article that pulls no punches, he suggests we should have set our sights higher but what do you think? Comment below the article or discuss further in our forums
I lived in the USA between 1997-2003 and breathed 'Soccer` as they call it over the pond.
I coached two girls` sides over the pond and mixed it out there with the likes of Charlie Cooke, the famous Chelsea player of the sixties & seventies and Paul Mariner, the former Arsenal & Pompey striker.
I even had a protégé who represented the USA on a tour of Europe. Yes. I went as far as putting forward a case for my USA left-back representative to have a trial with my beloved Burnley.
Get this! The kid was prepared to pay his own expenses to come and trial with us!
Having close links with Burnley FC, in 1999 I talked to Dave Edmundson and Eduardo Abis amongst others at the time but sadly I ended up offering this lad the chance to trial with Bury, Stockport County and even Manchester United instead.
Nothing came of it and the lad, disillusioned by the lack of professionalism by the 'Motherland of Football` went on to pursue a career as a male stripper!
A male stripper! The potential of a 'nine goal in one tournament` left back, shot because someone dropped the (pardon the pun) ball at Burnley!
You don`t get many nine goal a season left backs, let alone nine goals a tournament ones.
So there I am having had possible links with Miami Fusion amongst other clubs plus a former Scottish International and former English International on my list of contacts and Burnley don`t act upon it!
Forgive me if I don`t seem so enthused therefore about the possible deals with Minnesota Thunder and others when I offered them Columbus Crew and Miami Fusion at the time. Now Burnley FC brings out this blaze of publicity about sides playing in the lower league of US Soccer wanting to get into bed with one of them.
America is not the hotbed of soccer we are told it is. It`s all well and good looking at a couple of clubs in the USA following along the lines of Stoke with Austin Aztex, but we really need to look more closely at what we are trying to achieve. There is not an iceberg`s chance in hell of us picking up any talent from lower league US nowhere-ville.
I know we have some American visitors to the site now, but I have to say I am disheartened by the latest proposals. I spent some effort in trying to bring a USA international to Burnley. The only one I`d rate as good enough.
For me to see us stoop to lower level league sides in the US when I offered quality on a platter makes me cringe at our so called professionalism.
The answer is not small fry. We seem to be back to Burnley best or worst! We can do a lot better than Austin or Minnesota in my opinion
We should be looking at the USA, but not the smaller teams and we should be concentrating on the teams that play in at least the MLS not the USL
I don`t intend to be a Yank stabber, if there is such a thing. I just know I wasted valuable time (my time) speaking to a lot bigger fish than Austin and Minnesota!
I have been to both cities on several occasions. Minnesota being a twin city with St.Paul and I have friends there so I am not having a personal dig in that respect.
It`s a sad state of affairs though that my club lost out on my expertise and that we now have our eyes looking at sides below the MLS!
Back to the underlying problem! Lack of enthusiasm, backbone. I am nonplussed! Why? What? Where? How?
The current proposal sounds exotic. It looks good on paper. Hell,it's a far reach from the dark days of the 80`s. Getting beat by Hereford Utd 0-6 at home was not easy to swallow.
That said, I have been through the America scene and witnessed it firsthand albeit about five years ago. The will is there, the desire is. I remember being called revolutionary for my techniques…yet I was just doing a coach`s job. I adore football. I adore the USA. I think we could offer the USA a lot more, and I think they could offer us a lot more.
Given a bit more insight, they would have.