Jimmy Mac, When Are You Coming Back?
Burnley take on Glentoran tonight in their 7th pre-season match. This friendly though will also be a special match celebrating our strong traditions with each other over our history and the fact that both clubs recently held their 125th Anniversary celebrations with both being formed in 1882.
Glentoran over the years have provided Burnley FC with players that have become Clarets legends and none more so than Jimmy McIlroy, generally recognised to be our best player ever to put on a Claret and Blue shirt.
The former Northern Ireland International, started his career with Glentoran in 1949 before moving to Burnley a year later. He was to go on and make 497 appearances for the club in 14 years at Turf Moor.
It was one of the most bitter moments for Clarets fans when Bob Lord decided to sell our star player to Stoke in 1963. Street protests came to nothing but the sale lost many fans who vowed never to return to Turf Moor again. The reason for the sale has never been revealed, and Jimmy himself now 76 has remained tight lipped ever since.
Jimmy tonight however will return to Glentoran as a special VIP quest along with our new Irish scout, Jimmy's friend and former Glentoran player and Northern Ireland manager, Billy Bingham.
As well as McIlroy however, Glentoran have been involved in the development of a number of players who finished up playing for Burnley FC
The first was actually Tom Morrison who went on to make 195 appearances for the club after signing twice for the Clarets in 1894 and then again in 1897 after returning home for a few intervening years.
But the list continues with amongst others:
William Emerson (1922)
Alex Elder (1959)
Sammy Todd (1962)
Tommy Cassidy (1980)
Mark Caughhey (1987)
Wayne Russell (1993)
The last player to sign for Burnley from Glentoran was another Clarets legend. Glen Little signed from Glentoran in 1996 going on to make 293 appearances for the club before achieving his Premiership ambitions with Reading.
So what do we know about Glentoran?
Formed in 1882 as we know, Glentoran are based in East Belfast and play at The Oval, a stadium holding 5000 fans.
Their current manager is Alan McDonald and known as 'The Glens' (or sometimes 'The Cock & Hens') the club currently play in the top flight Irish Carnegie Premier League.
Owen Coyle after six pre-season games so far, is by now likely to know the sixteen players, he has in mind for the start of the season and we could begin to see him bed those in, in our remaining three friendlies starting tonight against the Glens.
The clues for a starting eleven could be gleaned from those starting the match in our last match against Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
It will however be interesting to see though if the players that had picked up knocks and were therefore rested in that match will now be deemed fit enough to return. Kevin McDonald, Chris McCann and Ade Akinbiyi missed out against Stanley.
A possible line-up for this match could be as follows:
Penny, Duff, Caldwell, Carlisle, Kalvenes, Van der Schaaf, McCann, McDonald, Elliott, Blake, Paterson
Subs: Jensen, Alexander, Akinbiyi, Gudjonsson, Mahon, Berisha, Jordan, Jones, kay, Rodriguez, MacDonald.
We could continue to operate 4-3-3 with Van der Schaaf playing as a holding midfielder just in front of the back four. Our choices in midfield though are now numerous with many in top form including Gudjonsson and Berisha.
Well we have kicked off now and still no team news on the Offical Site or elsewhere. Bear with us,it could be one of those nights!!
Well the team news is in after 15 minutes play and what a weird one!
Jensen, Jordan, Caldwell, Carlisle, Duff, Mahon, Gudjonsson, Jones, SOLOVJOVS (Who?), Akinbiyi, Rodriguez
Alex Solovjovs, a Latvian U21 international playing his trade with Olimps Riga, is given a run out as a triallist in tonight's match in Glentoran! Another Latvian!! Listed as midfielder and striker!
Owen Coyle has a laugh and puts himself on bench!
Jensen, Jordan, Caldwell, Carlisle, Duff, Mahon, Gudjonsson, Jones, Solovjovs, Akinbiyi, Rodriguez.
Subs: Penny, Alexander, Blake, Paterson, Berisha, Coyle
Morris, Nixon, Neill, Leeman, Ward, Fordyce, Halliday, Hamilton, Scullion, Berry, Harris.
Subs: Taylor, Burrows, Simpson, Boyce, Carson, Steele, Gardiner, Burrows, Ferguson, Black
The Oval, Belfast, 28th July 2008 @ 7:30 pm.
It's 1-0 Clarets. Rodriguez goal after 32 minutes
Latest Score: 0-2 Clarets, Ade Akinbiyi on 62 minutes and now just 15 minutes to go
Full Time: Glentoran 0-5 Burnley
Martin Paterson after 78 minutes, an Alexander penalty on 86 minutes and in the final minute, Owen Coyle with the last kick of the match ensured the Clarets gave the Irish side a drubbing