Turf Titbits: The Young Ones
A couple of our young squad players on the fringe of breaking through into the first team left Turf Moor this week for a loan spell at other clubs.
Striker, Wes Fletcher (pictured above) joined Stockport County on Friday for an initial period of one month. Wes has been a prolific striker for the Clarets at youth and reserves level and this season is currently the second-string`s leading goal-scorer
The 20 year old made his first team debut for Burnley coming on from the bench in Augusts` Carling Cup win at Morecambe. Hopefully playing in League 2 will give him some valuable experience and make his progress to becoming an established first team regular that much quicker.
This will be the second loan spell for Fletcher; he spent a month at Grimsby Town last season and scored his first senior goal whilst playing for them.
Brian Laws, who has had a busy week sorting out three loans in total, said of the Fletcher move:
'We had a mad rush of clubs looking at Wes Fletcher but we felt Stockport was the best option.
'I know the manager, Paul Simpson, really well and I know he wants to play good football and will encourage and coach Wes in the right manner.
'Wes is ready for this and we have high hopes for him because we feel he can score goals.
'Fingers crossed he will do that for Stockport and everyone benefits.'
Stockport gaffer, Paul Simpson could be intending to give Fletcher his debut in their game against Barnet this Saturday.
Clarets' defender Kevin Long earlier in the week also completed a loan deal. He moved just down the road to Accrington Stanley after agreeing an initial one month loan. He too will be hoping that the experience of playing in League 2 at senior level will hasten his development and progress helping him to achieve the ultimate aim of breaking through into Burnley`s first team.
Burnley signed Long from League of Ireland club Cork City in January this year.
He has yet to make his first team debut for the Clarets but at 20 years old, he is already a Republic of Ireland under-21 international and has been a regular for the Clarets in the Reserves. Other clubs have shown interest in the young prospect with both Carlisle and MK Dons reported to be looking at the central defender in the summer
Brian Laws said of the Stanley deal:
'John Coleman has built that club from the bottom and he knows players.
'Hopefully he will bring the best out of Kevin in what is a physical division.
'Accrington look to play football and we are delighted he is going there, which also allows us to support our local neighbours.'
Long could now make his debut for Stanley at home to Rotherham this Saturday.
Fletcher and Long therefore joined Kevin McDonald this week in leaving Turf Moor on loan deals. Big Kev signing a one-month loan deal with Championship rivals, Scunthorpe earlier in the week
Another Irish man in the news this week was Shay McCartan. He has been called up by the Northern Ireland Under 17s. He will be travelling out to Portugal later this month hoping he can help his team ultimately qualify for the Under 17 finals tournament to be played in Serbia next summer. Portugal are the designated hosts for this qualifying round with Azerbaijan and Montenegro also in the group.
Northern Ireland will play the following games in Portugal:
Montenegro - 22nd October to be played at Póvoa do Varzim
Azerbaijan- 24th October to be played at Maia
Portugal - 27th October to be played at Barcelos.
The target for Northern Ireland is to finish in the top two in order to qualify for the Elite Round with again another four clubs competing. The winners of each of the elite groups will then qualify for the finals in Serbia.
McCarran is a hot prospect. The 16 year old striker joined Burnley in May 2010 having previously played for Glenavon and Banbridge Town. It took some time for him to establish himself in the youth side having to wait for International clearance but he is now a regular and has since opened his account scoring recently against both Bury and Chesterfield.
Meanwhile this week the Reserves continued their winning ways to stay top of the totesport.com League after defeating Shrewsbury Town 3-1 at home. Kevin McDonald, Alex MacDonald and Michael King scored for the Clarets
It could have been a different story had Shrewsbury converted a penalty as early as the fifth minute. An Easton back-pass was well short of reaching the keeper and Grant could only bring down Tom Bradshaw in the box. Grant made amends though by saving the spot kick.
It was a M(a)cDonald double act that led to our first goal. Alex MacDonald on the right saw off his marker with the ball falling to Big Kev who showed good awareness to get in a shot. His shot was a tadge lucky after getting a deflection but they all count! Five minutes later and it was 2-0 with this time Alex Macdonald getting on the scoresheet. He first of all set-up Richard Eckersley for a chance from the edge of the box and he then pounced after the full back`s effort was blocked.
Michael King was introduced just past the hour mark and within four minutes of him coming on he had made the score 3-0. Tom Bradshaw scored a late consolation goal for the visitors two minutes from time.
Clarets (4-4-2): Lee Grant; Richard Eckersley, Leon Cort (Kevin Long 62), Michael Duff (Nik Kudiersky 62), Brian Easton; Alex MacDonald, David Edgar, Kevin McDonald (Michael King 62), Alex-Ray Harvey; Martin Paterson, Wes Fletcher.
Subs not used: Ben Woodhead, Chris Lynch, Chris Anderson, Dominic Knowles.