Date:Sunday May 22 2011
More news about another pre-season friendly was announced this week with the Clarets off to Gigg Lane again and the Burnley X-Files concerning our former players were also in full swing.
Its a Bury Gigg Again!
Eddie Howe`s Clarets will face newly promoted League One Bury in a pre-season friendly fixed for Tuesday, July 12 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Admission at Gigg Lane will be £10 adults and £5 concessions. Tickets can be bought in advance from Bury FC only.
The news follows on from an earlier announcement that a week later on Tuesday, July 19 the Clarets will travel to League Two side Bristol Rovers for a friendly at the Memorial Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm). Admission prices will be released at a later date.
In summary then so far the pre-season fixtures that have been arranged are as follows:
Altrincham (A) Saturday, July 9 (kick-off 3pm).
Bury (A) Tuesday, July 12 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Bristol Rovers (A), Tuesday, July 19 (kick-off 7.45pm)
Oldham Athletic (A) Tuesday, July 26 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Details of further games will be announced shortly by the club and no doubt Clarets fans will be wondering whether a game or two at home might be on the cards and if there will be a tour abroad in the summer. Watch this space!
Burnley X-Files-Duffy and Gray Stay, Harley and Thomas Go!
Our former loan full back Richard Duffy has signed a new one year deal at Exeter City after a good two year spell playing for the Grecians
Duffy arrived at Turf Moor from Portsmouth on loan at the beginning of the 2004/05 season and had a fairly successful period at the club. He will be most remembered for the goal he scored in Burnley's 2-1 win away to Leeds United at Elland Road that season. Although he was a full-back, then manager Steve Cotterill also played him on the left hand side of the midfield giving him a chance to show his versatility and it was in that position he scored the winning goal against Leeds.
Further loan spells followed at Coventry (in fact 4 spells!) and Swansea before Pompey released the player. In February 2009 Duffy joined Millwall on a contract until the end of the season but in July 2009 the Welsh international signed for newly promoted League One side Exeter City after impressing on a trial at the club during pre-season. Duffy now 25 has continued to impress at St James Park and has now been rewarded with a new one year deal.
Another of our former players to be rewarded with a new contract is Andy Gray at Barnsley. He has agreed a one year extension to his contract.
Gray spent two-and-a-half seasons playing for the Clarets after being signed initially on loan from Sunderland in March 2006. The deal became permanent in the summer of 2006 with Steve Cotterill signing him for around £750,000 thus beating Gray`s former club Leeds who had been favourites to sign him. He rapidly became a firm fans favourite after time and time again demonstrating his poaching skills and getting on the score sheet! By the time he left Burnley he had notched up 25 goals from 60 matches but he broke all Clarets fans hearts when he knifed the club in the back to join Charlton Athletic in January 2008. His move for around £2 million left a bitter taste in the mouths of all Clarets fans and his departure was acrimonious to say the least.
His time at Charlton though was not successful and some would say that was ample justice for what he did to Burnley. Gray could only muster 9 goals for the Addicks in 45 appearances for the club and spent a lot of the time out injured. He also suffered problems in his personal life and had to endure Charlton Athletic losing their relegation fight with the club dropping to the third tier of football for the first time in 29 years. Gray had signed for Charlton believing them to a better bet for promotion to the Premier League. How ironic then it would be Burnley who would reach the top flight with Charlton going in the opposite direction!
Gray signed for Championship side Barnsley in August 2009 for an undisclosed fee after having his Premier League ambitions thwarted at 'The Valley`. He signed a two year deal at the time with a one year option to extend. That extension has now been agreed and will be effective from July 2011.
Jon Harley and Wayne Thomas though will be two former players looking for new clubs in the close season.
Harley joined Burnley on loan from Sheffield United in 2005 before signing a permanent deal later that year in June 2005. The club paid just £75,000 initially, with further payments linked to first-team appearances
In March 2008 however Harley failed to agree a new deal with Burnley spelling out his intent to leave the club during the following summer. True to his word, in July 2008 Harley signed a 2-year-deal with Watford before joining Notts County last summer after agreeing a two year contract.
It has been managerial upheaval at Notts County; it has to be said this season. Harley arrived after being signed by then manager, Craig Short but the gaffer was soon replaced by new boss Paul Ince. Ince too though found life difficult and he too lost his job allowing former Barnet manager Martin Allen to take over towards the end of the season. Allen does not appear to see a future for Harley at the club and he has been told he can leave despite having a year left on his contract. Harley therefore is now hoping a new club will come in for him.
Wayne Thomas is another former player to be released.
The defender arrived at Turf Moor in the summer of 2005 after famously being pursued by Steve Cotterill who flew out to sign the player whilst on holiday in Florida. His time at Turf Moor was topsy-turvy to say the least. He will be remembered more for his poor disciplinary record than his defensive qualities despite eventually becoming captain at the club. During his first season he also suffered two serious injuries first tearing his knee ligaments from which he made a fast recovery before then breaking his second metatarsal bone. His season over, it was perhaps surprising that he was made captain for the start of 2006-7 and the season did not start well for the former Stoke defender. He was clearly to blame for a number of defensive blunders and was then sent off twice before the end of September.
Cotterill though stuck by Thomas and he kept his place as captain on his return from suspension. However eventually he would lose the captaincy to Steven Caldwell in February 2007 and by now it was clear the Clarets fans had turned against the player. It was probably the loss of the captaincy and the increasingly noisy verbal boos from the fans that convinced Thomas it was time to move on. In August 2007, Thomas signed for Southampton in a £1.2 million deal; a remarkable bit of business considering the player`s qualities or lack of them.
Thomas spent three years at St Mary`s before being released last summer. A successful trial at the Keepmoat followed leading to a one year deal with Doncaster Rovers. After 21 games for the club this season, it is now clear that he will not be offered a new deal and he too will soon be a free agent looking for a new club.
Date:Sunday May 22 2011
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