That Was The Clarets Week That Was...
Well as we all know Burnley`s season came to an end on Saturday but there was quite a lot of news during that week that you may have missed so we thought we would capture some little snippets below.
The Beastly Offer!
Many Clarets fans thought Brian Jensen days were numbered with his contract coming to an end in the summer and Lee Grant now seemingly established as the Number 1 choice goalkeeper. Last season the keeper played his least number of games for the Clarets since joining them after losing his place to Lee Grant. Never underestimate the Beast though!
During the week it was announced that Jensen had been offered a new contract with a sweetener of a possible testimonial thrown in. He is understood to be mulling over the new terms but there was perhaps a hint on Saturday that he is likely to accept after being named in the starting eleven for the first time since picking up a groin strain in the game away to Peterborough back in September.
It is not clear what he has been offered and for how long although there is a hint that it might involve a salary cut as the club come to terms with cutbacks and the FIFA Financial Fair Play ruling that kicks-in next season. Eddie Howe made that plain when he was asked where he saw the Dane`s future. He replied:
"Hopefully here, but like anything it`s got to be affordable to us.
"We`re having to make cutbacks and we`ve got to be sensible with the money we do have."
Should he accept the deal though, he will start his 10th season for the Clarets in August although whether he will feature much remains to be seen. He is though currently the club`s longest serving player and has become somewhat of an institution.
Eddie Howe told the local press today:
"We`re expecting an answer soon hopefully.
"The Beast has got to weigh up all his options and choose what`s right for him. We certainly want him to stay. I think he showed again that he`s still a very good goalkeeper and we`d love to keep him with us."
In relation to a possible testimonial, Howe said:
"That`s something that has been talked about. We`d love to offer him that.
"I think the supporters would love to see that because he is a real favourite of the crowd and I think he has deserved that for all he`s done.
"But without putting too much pressure on him, it`s his decision in terms of the contract offer.
"Hopefully we can reach an agreement."
Burnley X-Files: All About Grezza!
It was a busy week for our former defender and midfielder, Graham Alexander. The 40 year old is now of course back at Preston North End but Grezza is still held in high regard by Clarets fans and they were delighted to hear he had picked up a prestigious award a week last Sunday. He received a PFA Merit Award after celebrating a 22 year playing career that involved playing over 1000 senior games. Of course he achieved the 1000 game milestone whilst stay playing for the Clarets and indeed played 177 games for Burnley helping them achieve promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2008-9 season.
aving been delighted for the player, Clarets fans were then saddened to learn later in the week that Alexander had now decided to retire at the grand old age of 40.
In typical Grezza style though he played his last game for Preston at the weekend against League 1 Champions, Charlton at Deepdale and scored! He was brought on by manager Graham Westley in the 83rd minute of the game with Charlton winning 2-1, but when Preston got a free kick in the 93rd minute Alexander stepped up to the plate and curled the ball inside the near post! A fitting end for a great player! Good luck for the future, Grezza you were an inspiration!
I doubt I will see in my lifetime another player who notches up a total of 1023 games during his career or indeed anywhere near it!
The Jay Rod Honour Too!
There was some good news too for Jay Rodriguez at the annual PFA awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Sunday night. Rodriguez was honoured by his fellow professionals by being named in the PFA Championship team of the season. Jay Rod is the first Clarets player to be named in the PFA team of the season at any level since 1999/2000 when skipper Steve Davis and Glen Little were named after the club won promotion as runners-up in the old Second Division.
The Fans Player of the Year
The Supporters Clubs held their annual Player of the Year evening at Turf Moor last Tuesday night and Kieran Trippier picked up most of the awards pipping Jay Rodriguez to become the overall Player of the Year.
Michael Duff, who recently signed a new one-year deal with the club and midfielder Dean Marney, also picked up an award while goalkeeper Brian Jensen won an appreciation award for his nine years of service.
Jimmy Robson was the recipient of the annual award for services to Burnley Football Club, presented by former player and chief executive Paul Fletcher.
The fantastic achievements of the youth team this season were also rewarded. The young guns reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals, the Lancashire FA Youth Cup final and challenged for the Youth Alliance North West Division title just being pipped by Preston. They collected a special award in recognition of their great season.
Clarets International-Macca & Shay!
17 year old striker Shay McCartan could get his first Northern Ireland Under 21 cap after being called up to the squad for the first time last week. Northern Ireland play Macedonia in Kumanova in a 2013 Euro U21 Championships qualifier on Thursday 10th May.
Meanwhile striker,Alex MacDonald, having recently returned from a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle after helping them survive relegation from League 2, picked up yet another Scotland Under 21 cap. The Scots played Italy at Easter Road in a friendly last Wednesday night with Macca making the starting eleven and playing for an hour. He could not do much though to prevent his side losing 4-1.
The Pre-Season Local Games Mount Up
The club have announced more pre-season games for the summer and once again Burnley fans will be making a few local journeys. It had already been announced that the Clarets would travel to Moss Lane to play Altrincham on Saturday 21st July.
We can now add Bury and Rochdale to the list! The Clarets will travel to Gigg Lane three days after the Altrincham match in repeat of last season`s pre-season games.
Just like last season, there will then be a tour of the South West with the club based in Bath. Details of the games are awaited.
After the tour, Burnley will return home and this time instead of Oldham will be pitched against relegated Rochdale who sadly lost their League 1 status this season following promotion last season and now look likely to finish bottom. The game will be played at Spotland on Tuesday 7th August. It is highly likely we will also have one game at Turf Moor on the Saturday before the new season kicks off but as yet there has been no confirmation so watch this space!