Burnley X-Files: A Summer Season of Moves
Well that`s it until January 2010, another transfer window closed yesterday (1st September 2009 @ 5pm) and for the Clarets there was just one bit of activity on the final day. David Nugent was signed on loan for six months with the option to buy bringing our total intake of new players to eight players this summer. Nugent joins Guerrero (loan), Bikey, Eckersley, Easton, Edgar, Fletcher and Mears.
What though of our ex-players, did any of them move elsewhere in the summer? Well, yes quite a few in fact and we did bring you news from time to time of a few but we thought we would provide you with a full list for the record in case you missed any of them:
Andy Gray-Aye Barnsley not Burnley!
Gray was transferred from Burnley to Charlton initially via a loan in January 2008 before the club received £1.5 million for the striker`s permanent move. The whole affair left a bitter taste in the Clarets fans mouths and our former hero became a villain overnight after he clearly put his Premier League ambitions and a lucrative salary ahead of his love for Burnley; a club that had clearly recued his career after it had stalled with Sunderland. Rumours that he had refused to 'wear the shirt` with pride and play in a game at Coventry made the situation worse with the manager having no option but to sell.
It is perhaps fitting that what followed showed that greed and hope don`t always go hand in hand. Gray made only 45 appearances for the Addicks scoring just nine goals with Charlton eventually being relegated to League One with the Clarets in the same season moving in the opposite direction into the Premier League. The striker, now 31 must clearly have seen the irony and he must now be cursing himself for his rash ambition and financial greed.
It is perhaps not surprising that he would now move on again and so it proved on the 21st August 2009 when he signed for Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. It a bizarre twist of fate, he could now line up against his former team mates with Burnley now playing the Tykes in the 3rd Round of the Carling Cup at Oakwell later this month.
Micah Hyde-What a Barnet!
The midfield general left the Clarets in January 2007 to join Peterborough for £75000 and was eventually made captain of the team. He lost the captaincy in the 2008-9 season and in November 2008, Hyde now 34, had his contract cancelled by mutual consent after rejecting loan moves to Barnet, Notts County and Stevenage Borough.
He had a failed trial at Gillingham in December 2008 before joining Woking in February 2009. Hyde was released after League 2 Woking's relegation to the Conference. In July 2009 he signed a one year deal with Barnet. He is now captain of the League 2 side.
Frank Sinclair-Lincoln City to Wrexham
The stalwart centre back now 37 is still going strong and in the summer he signed for the Blue Square Premier conference side, Wrexham.
Sinclair left Burnley for Huddersfield Town in February 2007 on an emergency loan deal but picked up a red card in a match against Brighton and returned to Turf Moor in March 2007. He was given a free transfer at the end of the 2006/7 season and Huddersfield took him back on a one year contract in May 2007. The Terriers though released Sinclair at the end of his contract in May 2008.
Lincoln City signed him on a one-year contract in July 2008 but in March 2009 he went out on loan to Wycombe Wanderers where he was instrumental in helping the League 2 side gain promotion. He was one of seven players released by Lincoln in May 2009 and in August 2009 he signed a one-year deal with Wrexham.
Glen Little-Now a Little Blade
Clarets legendary winger, Glen Little has again been on the move and in the summer signed for Sheffield United, our defeated opponents at Wembley.
Little in his final season with the Clarets had two loan spells at Reading and Bolton Wanderers in 2003 before signing for the Royals on a Bosman in the summer of 2004. He helped Reading gain promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2005-6 season. Although he signed a one-year extension to his contract which took him up to summer 2008, injuries, limited opportunities and Reading`s relegation at the end of 2007/8 eventually took their toll and in June 2008 he signed a one year contract with Portsmouth. There were limited opportunities at Pompey though and he soon found himself back at Reading on loan after signing for them in March 2009 until the end of the 2008/9 season.
With the Clarets instrumental in ensuring Reading did not gain promotion after beating them in the play-offs two leg semi-final, Little returned to Portsmouth where he was promptly released.
In a remarkable co-incidence Little in July 2009 then had a trial with the other team we stopped reaching nirvana, Sheffield United impressing Kevin Blackwell enough to give him a one-year contract.
Gareth Taylor- A Wrexham Man Now
Gareth Taylor first joined the Clarets on loan from Manchester City in February 2001 with the loan deal later being extended to the end of the season. He then signed on a free transfer in July 2001, penning a three year deal. The Welsh international striker scored 32 times in 80 appearances for the Clarets before being transferred to Nottingham Forest for £500,000 in 2003.
His career at Forest started well once he had fully recovered from a serious eye injury he had picked up whilst at Turf Moor.He eventually became captain under Gary Megson.Eventually though, he fell out of favour and found himself out on loan to Crewe in January 2006. He was finally released by Forest after his contract expired that summer.
Turning down Dario Gradi at Crewe, he instead signed a two year contract with Tranmere Rovers at the end of June 2006. Taylor then signed for Doncaster Rovers initially on loan at the end of the January transfer window in 2008 before making the deal permanent in early February.
He picked up a hamstring at the start of the 2008/9 season and eventually Taylor joined Carlisle United on a month-long loan deal on 2 March 2009. After returning to Doncaster at the end of the season he was released from his contract on 7th May.
Taylor, by now aged 36 signed a one year contract with Dean Saunders' Blue Square Premier Conference side Wrexham in June 2009 after 19 years in the Football League and got a brace in a 3-0 win over Eastbourne Borough at the start of the season.
Duane Courtney-Now at Kidderminster
Courtney signed for the Clarets from AFC Telford in August 2005 for £25000. The central defender though found little opportunity to play in the first team making just 8 appearances before signing for Welsh Premier League champions, The New Saints in September 2006 after being put on the transfer list by Burnley in May 2006. In April 2009 the club announced that his contract would not be renewed beyond the end of the 2008-09 season.
The 24 year old signed a one-year deal with Blue Square Premier Conference club Kidderminster Harriers in July 2009
Marc Pugh-Shrewsbury to Hereford United
Pugh, now 22 never actually played for the Clarets first team although at the time it was thought amongst the fans that he was close to breaking through after an excellent goal-scoring record for the youths and reserves. He made two appearances on the bench in the Carling Cup but did not feature.
In November 2005 he had his first loan spell out on loan at Kidderminster Harriers under former Clarets player and first team coach, Mark Yates but picked up a groin injury returning to Turf Moor in December 2005. Another loan spell at Aggborough followed in January 2006 but sadly for Marc he was to be released by Burnley a month later after learning he would not be offered a professional contract.
A three-week long trial at Chris Casper`s Bury followed and eventually he signed a short-term contract. He played well and helped Bury avoid relegation that season and as a result was given his first professional contract signing a one-year deal at Gigg Lane. Pugh though, although more likely his agent, refused to sign a contract extension during 2006/7 and despite numerous attempts during the season to settle their differences no deal could be struck and in May 2007 Pugh eventually signed for League Two side, Shrewsbury. Loan spells followed at Luton and Hereford before he was released by Shrewsbury at the end of the 2008/9 season with the remaining year of his contract being cancelled.
Four dates later and he had rejoined League 1 side, Hereford United this time on a permanent deal after signing a one-year contract on 30th June 2009.
Neal Trotman- Preston loan him to Saints
Trotman was another player who never made it at Burnley. The defender was a youth player who was released at the age of 18 in 2005.
His first professional club was Oldham but with limited opportunities soon found himself out on loan to Halifax Town for the remainder of the 2006/7 season. Injuries in Oldham`s defence gave him a chance to shine during 2007/8 and he began to impress becoming a fans favourite. A number of higher league clubs were now showing interest and Oldham would find it difficult to hold on to their new prospect. After an undisclosed bid by Plymouth, it is understood Blackburn Rovers, Derby County and Preston were alerted to his potential.
He chose Preston and signed a three-year deal with them in January 2008 for a fee of £500,000. An unfortunate long-term injury though kept him sidelined for most of 2008/9 and in order to gain match fitness he joined Colchester United on a one-month loan in March 2009.
Trotman, now 22 joined Southampton on loan until January 2010 after signing for them in August 2009.
John Oster-He's Oster Doncaster Rovers
Welsh International, John Oster`s career looked to be going nowhere until Steve Cotterill brought him to Turf Moor in 2005. He had failed to find regular form with his previous club Sunderland and was released by the Black Cats in January 2005 after loan spells over the years with Barnsley, Grimsby and infamously Leeds United.
Oster made just 15 appearances for the Clarets scoring only one goal before moving on to Reading in August 2005. In January 2007 his contract at the Majedski was extended to summer of 2008.
The winger though could not breakthrough into the Reading team with the Royals now in the Premier League and he was basically now a squad player with appearances limited usually from the sub`s bench. In May 2008, he was one of the players released after Reading`s relegation at the end of 2007/8
Following an unsuccessful trial at Preston North End, Oster signed an initial six month contract with Crystal Palace in August 2008. He performed well enough to earn an 18 month extended contract with the Eagles. Oster though left Palace this summer
In August 2009, Oster, now 30 completed a move to Doncaster Rovers signing a short-term contract after impressing Rovers gaffer, Sean O'Driscoll, following a successful trial.
Danny Coyne-Tranmere Rovers to Middlesbrough
Our former keeper, Danny Coyne, now 36, joined Middlesbrough in July 2009 on a two-year deal making a surprise return to the Championship. He is now challenging Bard Jones for the regular keeping spot and has already played four games for Boro at the start of the 2009/10 season.
The Welsh international keeper signed for the Clarets from Leicester in July 2004 on a three-year contract but suffered a number of injuries whilst at Burnley and could never really establish himself as the Number 1 goalkeeping choice. Brian Jensen once more saw off another keeper when Coyne was re-signed by his original club, Tranmere Rovers in July 2007 on a free transfer. Coyne did well for the League 1 side. Described by his manager, Ronnie Moore as 'The best goal keeper in League One' he recorded 20 clean sheets last season to secure the League 1 Golden Glove prize. It was perhaps surprising therefore when they accepted a bid from Middlebrough in the summer
This completes our list of former permanent players who have moved on this summer although we should also mention again Ade Akinbiyi. He was released by Major League Soccer club, Houston Dynamo after less than six months in the US. Ade left Burnley in March 2009. There is no further news yet on his intentions and at 34, retirement from football might be an option at least on the playing side. Maybe the Clarets could bring him back as the 'Great Motivator` and give him a role with the young strikers? He certainly seemed to be mentoring Jay Rodriguez before Ade left for a new career in the US.
Just to complete the list, there are also a number of former loans that have moved on to pastures new during the summer.
Keith Lowe-Now at Hereford United
The defender was signed on loan from Wolves at the start of the 2005/6 season by Steve Cotterill. He made 16 appearances for the club putting in a solid if unspectacular performance before returning to Molineux in December 2005. Further loan spells followed in quick succession over the following seasons at QPR, Swansea, Brighton , Cheltenham (2 spells) and finally Port Vale before it was plain for all to see that he was simply surplus to Wolves requirements.
He was finally released in August 2008 and his initial promising career looked to be over when he signed for non-league Kidderminster Harriers. He made 42 appearances for the club during 2008/9 but then for financial reasons had to be released.
Lowe though looks to be getting his career back on track at the age of 23 after making a return to the league. He signed for Hereford United in May 2009 who start 2009/10 in League 2 after being relegated last season.
Paul McVeigh-Returns to Norwich
The Northern Ireland international striker was signed by Burnley on loan from Norwich at the end of the 2006/7 season. He made just eight appearances for the club but scored three goals making an impression amongst Clarets fans as we fought off the threat of relegation and survived in the Championship for yet another season.
McVeigh though under Peter Grant was released by Norwich at the end of the 2006-07 season.
In August 2007 following unsuccessful trials with the Italian Serie B side, Pisa and Plymouth he signed for Kevin Blackwell at Luton Town. He held on at Luton for longer than intended, sticking to the terms of his contract despite Luton offering him a free transfer following their relegation at the end of 2007/8. He was finally released though in May 2009. After a short but failed trial with MLS team San Jose Earthquakes in the US McVeigh, now 31 returned to the UK and started training with his former club, Norwich who had just suffered relegation to League 1. Their since departed manager, Bryan Gunn re-signed the player on a one year contract in July 2009.
Richard Duffy-Now at Newly Promoted, League 1 Exeter City
Portsmouth loaned out the Welsh International right back to Burnley at the start of the 2004/5 season to give the player more match experience. He made just seven appearances for the club but will be particularly remembered for a goal he scored against Leeds at Elland Road in a game that finished 2-1 to the Clarets. His short spell in which he was also tried out on the right wing impressed the Clarets fans and it was sad to see him return to Portsmouth in the end.
He was still unable to breakthrough into the first team though and in the following seasons spent another five spells out on loan including a remarkable four with Coventry plus one with Swansea.
Duffy finally left Fratton Park to join Millwall in February 2009 signing a contract to the end of the season. He only made four appearances though for the club and the 23-year old now a free agent had a trial at Exeter City during the pre-season before signing for the newly promoted League 1 side in July 2009.
Michael Ricketts-Still Going This Time at Tranmere!
Ricketts time at Burnley was not a happy one after signing on loan from Leeds United in January 2006 until the end of 2005/6. We began to plummet down the table after a promising start in the first half of the season. The former England International striker (albeit one cap!) was brought in as a last minute replacement for goal-scoring hero Ade Akinbiyi who had been sold in the January window to Sheffield United to end his first spell with the Clarets.
It all started off well though after he scored two goals in his first three matches but then he failed to score again for the rest of the season with the Clarets once more just avoiding a relegation scrap.
He returned to Leeds but soon left the club after signing a two-year deal with then Championship side, Southend United in June 2006. It was not going to last long and after two months he would leave after being released on the basis that he was overweight and had put on weight since joining the club, questioning his level of fitness!
A short spell with another club followed, this time Preston North End who after 14 games released him in May 2007 again questioning his fitness levels. Do they ever learn?
Oldham were next to sign him offering him a three-year deal to 2010 before promptly loaning him out to Walsall in November 2007 for three months. Walsall of course was his first professional club and they must have liked what they saw eventually signing him permanently in July 2008 after having his contract cancelled by Oldham on the last day of the January Transfer window of that year. In the interim though, before signing for Walsall he did have failed trials with Southampton and USA sides, Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes.
After being released by Walsall at the end of the 2008/9 season, Ricketts the well-travelled journeyman joined his 11th professional club, signing a one-year deal with Tranmere Rovers in August 2009. Quite remarkable that he is still only 30!
Dean Bowditch- Released by Ipswich, Signed by Yeovil
Bowditch made just ten appearances for the Clarets on loan after being signed from Ipswich in 2005. The striker failed to impress whilst at Turf Moor and could only score once before returning to Portman Road. He seemed to clearly lack confidence in front of goal.
After a promising start at Ipswich becoming the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a match against Watford, he then seemed to flatter to deceive unable to establish himself in the first team.
Burnley was his first loan away from Portman Road but others followed at Wycombe Wanderers, Brighton(2 spells), Northampton and Brentford.
Ipswich released Bowditch at the end of the 2008-09 season and in the end after seven years at Portman Road and now aged 23 he had managed just 72 appearances and only scored 8 goals.
Bowditch signed a one-year deal with League 1 club, Yeovil in July 2009 and he even managed to score on his debut against Tranmere but was later injured. It was rotten luck for Bowditch who will now be out until December 2009 with a shoulder injury.
Dele Adebola-A Robin that now Flies in the Forest!
Adebola played just three games for the Clarets after arriving on loan from Coventry towards the end of the 2003-4 season with the striker managing to score one goal. He had suffered a serious knee injury a few seasons back whilst playing for Birmingham and had gradually made a slow recovery. Burnley were one of the clubs keen to sign him originally on a permanent deal before he arrived at Coventry via Crystal Palace.
After returning to the Sky Blues, another loan spell this time out to Bradford City took place before he finally established himself at Coventry and became a firm fans favourite.
It wasn`t to last though and in January 2008, Adebola signed an 18-month contract with Bristol City for an undisclosed fee even though Coventry would have liked to have offered him a new contract.
He won a Player of the Year award for the Robins at the end of the 2008/9 season after scoring 10 goals in 42 appearances but they could not hold on to him. Adebola now 34, rejected the offer of a one year extension instead preferring to sign for Nottingham Forest in June 2009 after being offered a two-year deal.