That Was The Clarets Week That Was!
It was another busy week for the Clarets culminating of course in our opening game of the 2011-12 season at home to Watford on Saturday. But what else happened during the week? We bring you some snippets of news that you may have missed.
Clarets fans were all a tadge disappointed following our lacklustre 2-2 draw at home to Watford on Saturday. It is always preferable to get off to a winning start, especially at home on the first day of a new season but sadly we fell short of that and had to be content with a point. There were some positives though to take from the game, we did after all show great resilience in the final quarter of the game to come back from two goals behind thanks in no small way to the efforts of our new signing Keith Treacy. The winger only arrived from Preston on the Monday after signing for an undisclosed fee and agreeing a three-year deal. Eddie Howe decided the 22 year old Republic of Ireland international was not quite fit enough to start against Watford so named him on the bench.
Just past the hour mark though Howe decided to bring on the new boy and he stormed into action assisting in one goal and scoring one of his own on his debut. Clarets hoping to see him in action in midweek for the Clarets against Burton at Turf Moor in the Carling Cup will be disappointed though. He will be on international duty for the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday night.
We did also actually sign another player last week although the news would hardly be described as high-profile. Nonetheless we now also have a third-string goalkeeper on our books which should keep Brian Jensen and Lee Grant on their toes! Former Bournemouth keeper, Jon Stewart who featured a number of times as a trialist in our pre-season friendlies clearly had done enough to impress Eddie Howe with the gaffer offering him a new one-year contract.
Howe told the club`s official website:
'We knew Jon from our time at Bournemouth and he is very talented young lad.
'He has all the tools and you only need to see his size to realise that.
'He is only 22, in goalkeeping terms he has a lot of time left in him and we feel he is a goalkeeper of huge potential'
Stewart started his career with Swindon in 2006 and has also played non-league football for Weymouth. He spent two years at Weymouth before leaving in 2008 to join Portsmouth and spent time training with them. In 2010 Stewart signed for Bournemouth as their second choice goalkeeper but was disciplined by the club before finally being sacked in April this year for misconduct. Obviously Howe thinks that is now all water under the bridge and has given the 6 feet 4 inches tall keeper a second chance. Stewart featured in three games in the summer pre-season friendlies coming on as a late substitute at Bury, Torquay United and Oldham Athletic. He has now been given shirt number 30 in the squad.
One of our young guns also went out on loan last week. Defender, Kevin Long returned to Accrington Stanley on loan for six months until the 3rd January 2012. The 20-year-old returns for a third spell at the Crown Ground. In the middle of his first two spells with Accy he broke his toe and had to return to Turf Moor for treatment in January this year before returning to the Crown Ground in March and making in total seventeen appearances for the club that season.
Ross Wallace was the centre of attention as well this week after a stupid remark by Peterborough boss, Barry Fry set the alarm bells ringing!
The Clarets had been linked with a move for Posh winger, George Boyd prompting the outspoken Fry to say:
'Burnley were keen on George, but they haven't met out valuation and we weren't interested in the player exchange."
The local Peterborough Evening Telegraph then reported that Fry had confirmed a £1.5 million bid with a player exchange deal involving Ross Wallace, both of which were turned down.
Obviously a remark, that if true would have been somewhat unsettling for Wallace as he prepared for the new season ahead with the Clarets.
A Burnley FC spokesman though was quick to ridicule the suggestion saying:
"Absolutely not true that bid made for Boyd, or that Wallace offered as part of any deal"
As if to reinforce the importance of Wallace to the squad, the club then announced there would be a squad number change with Wallace ditching his No 22 shirt in favour of the now vacant No 7 shirt!
The Burnley X-Files were also in full flow this week. There was bad news for Tyrone Mears. He had just signed of course for Bolton along with Chris Eagles and was looking forward to Premier League life under his former gaffer, Owen Coyle. However, he will have to put that ambition on hold after sadly breaking his leg during training last week. He now stands to miss at least the first few months of the season.
Coyle said: 'Ty went in for a challenge and unfortunately suffered the injury.
'It was desperately unlucky for him and we will make sure that he is fully supported in his rehabilitation.
'He will go for a check and an assessment in a month and that will indicate more accurately the timescale for his recovery.'
Another ex-Claret in the news this week was Graham Alexander. After leaving Turf Moor in the summer by mutual consent, Grezza is now back at Deepdale where he has been given the opportunity to play. The 39 year old returned to Preston last week after signing a one-year deal and made his second debut for the club in their opening League 1 feature at home to Colchester on Saturday. It was not a good day for Preston though since they lost 4-2 but by all accounts Grezza did have a good game in the holding midfield role.
Anybody remember Remco van der Schaaf? He of course was one of Coyle`s less successful signings for the Clarets and he eventually went out on loan to Brøndby IF until the end of his contract.
He signed on loan for Danish Superliga side Brøndby IF in February 2009, where he stayed until the end of the 2008-09 season.
In January 2010, van der Schaaf once again signed on loan for Brøndby IF after agreeing a one and a half year contract, thus seeing out his contract with Burnley. Released officially by Burnley in the summer, the 32 year old midfielder is now plying his trade with Danish club, Randers FC after agreeing a two year contract with the club at the end of July.
The only player now to leave Turf Moor this summer and still to find a new club is Kevin McDonald. The 22 year old midfielder was spotted training at Doncaster but he failed to win a contract. He then turned up recently at Bramall Lane after being given a trial by League 1, Sheffield United. There has been no news since!
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