That Was The Clarets Week That Was!
It has been a busy week for the Clarets on the transfer front with the arrival of new loan signing Ben Mee and the departure of Clarke Carlisle. Meanwhile Pompey have been in the news this week trying to poach one of our players (Pato) whilst appointing our former coach and caretaker manager Stuart Gray their first-team coach. We also of course beat Bury 3-0 at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night in our second pre-season friendly but Clarets fans may not be aware that our development squad with a number of trialists on show also played a Bury team the night after losing 3-2. We bring you detail of all the week`s events below.
The Ins, Outs and Maybes
Clarets fans could celebrate this week following the arrival of our first new signing of the summer. Defender, Ben Mee arrived from Manchester City on a season long loan and of course we covered this story elsewhere on Vital Burnley. It was a week also where we said goodbye to Clarke Carlisle at least for this season. He completed his season-long loan to League 1 Preston.
The move of course had been on the cards for a week or so but it seemed to take some time to sort out the final details. It is thought there was some delay due to the 31-year-old holding talks with North End over a possible option for a 2012/13 contract. Carlisle`s contract with Burnley expires next summer so reading between the lines it looks doubtful we shall see Carlisle play for the Clarets again. We wish him well, he has been a loyal player and a great ambassador for the club.
Clarke Carlisle played for his new club before actually completing the deal after being given special permission by Burnley FC. He turned out for their friendly against Blue Square Bet Premier club Fleetwood Town on Wednesday night before completing the loan deal on Thursday.
So then that`s one central defender in and one central defender out but could we also be about to lose one of our strikers?
Former Clarets gaffer, Steve Cotterill has been in the news this week with speculation rife that he is keen to bring Martin Paterson to Fratton Park and could be prepared to pay up to £2.5 million for the former Scunthorpe striker. You can read more about this in our front page article 'Howe on Pato-I desperately don`t want to lose him!` but it looks like Burnley will be under some pressure to keep hold of him.
A Gray Day at Pompey
There was more news this week linking Portsmouth and Burnley following the announcement that Stuart Gray had been appointed Pompey`s new first-team coach after agreeing a two-year deal. Gray, formerly our coach and also caretaker manager prior to Eddie Howe joining after the departure of Brian Laws, left Turf Moor in the summer. He succeeds Ian Woan at Fratton Park. Woan joined Watford earlier this month.
Former Clarets gaffer and Pompey boss, Steve Cotterill told BBC Radio Solent:
'I'm pleased to bring Stuart onboard, he's settled in really well, which was important to me.
'I've known Stuart for a long time and I've had him in my mind for a while.
'He's had a couple of sessions with the players and they've enjoyed it so far, so I'm pleased with how it's gone so far.'
Gray, 51, has also held managerial positions at Southampton and Northampton and was a coach at Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Wolves.
Lee Grant Now Says He Is Happy To Stay
Our keeper, Lee Grant managed just 25 league starts for the Clarets last season before losing his place to Brian Jensen towards the end of the campaign. Both keepers have tended to chuck their toys out of the pram by threatening to leave if the other looked like keeping his place in the team and Grant was the last one to hint at a move this summer.
It was reported that several Championship and Premier League clubs had been linked with a move for the former Derby and Owls stopper. However to date he is still on our books and now looks set to fight for his place.
'For me, it was a difficult end to the season having finished it by warming the bench and when you are 28-years-old and used to playing regularly it isn't the nicest feeling in the world,' said Grant this week.
'It felt like the right time to have a chat with the manager and see how I fit into his plans and I'm certainly one that wants to battle it out here and prove that I'm the number one at this club.
'I've got two more years to do that and as long as I'm here that will be my goal.
'In terms of interest I wasn't aware of anything this summer, but my mind was fully focused on coming back to Burnley again and making sure that I'm number one at the start of the season.'
Young Trialists Get Development Squad Run Out
Our development squad got a run-out in midweek playing Bury in a behind closed doors game at Gawthorpe on Wednesday afternoon. The Shakers though scored a late penalty to beat the Clarets 3-2 getting some revenge for the 3-0 thumping their first team suffered against Burnley at Gigg Lane in a pre-season friendly the night before. It was Bury`s Andy Bishop who scored from the spot. Bishop played in both games after coming on from the bench and he looks well on the way to fully recovering from his long-term injury.
Burnley`s new development coach, Jason Blake gave all his squad an extended run-out in a match played over three 30 minute spells giving a chance to some of his youth team, established development squad players and five trialists. The most experienced players on show were Alex-Ray Harvey and Dominic Knowles. Four of the youth team were also making the step-up with keeper Josh Cook and defenders Tom Anderson, Alex Coleman and Aryn Williams all trying to impress.
Medhi Lazaar, who also featured briefly in the first team clash at Gigg Lane the night before opened the scoring for the Clarets. Bury though hit back to lead 2-1 thanks to a brace of goals from Liam Boswell.
Trialist Soloman Ofia equalised for the Clarets to make it 2-2 before Bishop sealed it for Bury with the late penalty. Former Burnley winger, Michael King was also on show playing for Bury in his attempt to secure a contract with the Shakers.
The development squad`s next pre-season game will be away to Garforth on Wednesday 20th July (Kick-Off 7:45pm). They also have warm-up games scheduled away to Oldham (Wednesday 27th July Kick-Off tbc) followed by Portuguese side, Academica and then away to Padiham on Wednesday 3rd August (Kick-Off 7pm). Blake is also trying to slot in games against Preston and Manchester City in preparation for the start of the Reserves Central League campaign which kicks-off at the end of August. Burnley will face current Champions, Preston North End at Turf Moor in the Central League West season opener on Wednesday 24th August (Kick-Off 7pm). The Reserves this season will have just 12 games to play in the Central League West so Blake will be looking for friendly games to give his players additional work-outs.
Terry Pashley`s Youth Team meanwhile will start their Football League Youth Alliance campaign with a visit to the seaside to play Morecambe youth on Saturday 6th August before playing their first home game a week later against Accrington Stanley youth. They will be hoping to go one better this season after last season finishing runners-up to Rochdale.
Burnley X-Files: Trotman Trots Over To Rochdale
Our former youth player Neal Trotman was in the news this week after signing for Rochdale and agreeing a two-year deal. Clarets fans may struggle to remember Trotman and of course he never featured in our first team. He actually left Turf Moor six years ago following a two year apprenticeship and because of injury his name did not crop up again until he signed for Oldham a year later. A loan spell at Halifax followed before he began to establish himself in Oldham`s first team and catch the eye of Preston. He made the move to Deepdale in January 2008 but failed to justify his high profile, big money move and spent most of his time out on loan playing in League 1 for a host of clubs including Colchester, Southampton and Huddersfield before making a loan move back to Oldham. Trotman was released by Preston North End at the end of the 2010/11 campaign and at one point looked like he could be joining Doncaster Rovers but obviously not so with Rochdale now sealing the deal.