Burnley - Gotta Keep a Keeper or Five!
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Gotta Keep a Keeper or Five!

There was lots of gossip and rumours last week regarding potential new goalkeepers with two Australian keepers linked with the club.

Burnley are one of a number of clubs including West Brom, Ipswich and Bristol City who are reportedly interested in signing Sydney-born 20 year old Central Coast Mariners keeper, Mat Ryan. The impressive keeper has already represented his country at Under 23 level and has been called up into the Socceroos first team squad. Already owning a British passport, it is thought £300,000 could be enough for the stopper to be released by the Australian A-League club.

Central Coast Mariners football director Lawrie McKinna r has confirmed that the club are considering a request for the 20-year-old to travel to Turf Moor for a trial during the first two weeks of pre-season:

'We`ve had the request, it`s not an offer as yet and we`re considering it," McKinna said

'Our only big concern is that he hasn`t trained for four weeks, and we want to make sure he`s fit enough to go over."

Ryan has played all his football in his native country to date originally starting his career as a youth with local clubs Plumpton/Oakhurst SC and Blacktown City before joining A-League side the Mariners in 2009.

Burnley have also been linked with another Australian keeper, 17 year old, Daniel Nizic.

Nizic had a spell on trial with Portsmouth last term, but Pompey were suddenly under a transfer embargo and unable to sign him after the club entered administration for the second time in as many years. It has been reported that the young gun might now move northwards instead. Although a move to Burnley has yet to be finalised the former Sydney FC player is believed to have opted to join the Clarets according to local reports in the Lancashire Telegraph.

The interest in another two keepers is bound to fuel speculation concerning the future of the Beast and Jon Stewart at the club. Both have been offered new deals but to date they have not been accepted by either keeper.

Brian Jensen who is currently our longest-serving player at the club was offered a testimonial year and new terms at the end of last season but it remains to be seen if he stays and plays his tenth season with the Clarets. It is thought the new deal would involve a reduced package and that this could be the sticking point.

Eddie Howe said recently:

"We hope to come to agreement with Brian.

"He has been such a fantastic servant to the football club for such a long time.

"He is still a very good goalkeeper and a big personality.

"He is someone we have enjoyed working with and we would like to keep him."

The gaffer went on to say:

"Things have dragged on throughout the summer, through no fault of Brian`s.

"It`s been a tough one for us because despite the transfer fee we got for Jay (Rodriguez) we have to be very careful with the money we spend.

"I know Brian wants to stay and we are desperate for him to stay, so hopefully we can come to an agreement."

One keeper who is probably happy not to be embroiled in all this activity is Lee Grant. Grant who is now recognised as our number one stopper is the only one of our current keepers still under contract.

Should we succeed in our attempts to keep both Jensen and Stewart on the books and bring in the two new Aussie keepers that would mean we would have five professional goalkeepers in the squad! Well that would certainly keep the position competitive but surely we don`t need that many do we? It suggests to me we are keeping our powder dry in case deals cannot be reached with Jensen and Stewart. It is difficult to know if the links with the Australian keepers if they are true are simply contingency plan should we lose one or both of the keepers offered new deals or whether we really intend to have so many keepers on the books.

Clarets fans have mixed feelings about both our current recognised keepers with many unconvinced that Jensen or Grant are good enough in terms of consistency. Our third-string keeper, Jon Stewart has played so few games for the Clarets it is difficult to form an opinion. It looks though like Grant is the only one who will definitely stay since he is still under contract but it will be interesting to see who will be pushing him for the number one spot next season.

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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday July 2 2012

Time: 8:23AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Surely we wont finish up with five keepers will we?
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 08:28:00

I view this as excellent news. If Beast fails to agree the terms he can offski, we then need cover for Grant and the above certainly read that we are sorting that out. If Beast leaves and we look like we have not anticipated it, all hell will break loose on footy boards!
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 08:44:00

Couldn’t agree more with you Vin, in my eyes both Grant and Jensen are average Championship keepers, and I would not be fussed if both left as long as we have replacements.
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 09:12:00

Yeah but what happens if both Stewart & Beast sign? Have we not got more priority than to keep five keepers on the books with funds lacking? Have they given the out of contract keepers a deadline by which to decide or are they still in negotiation? If so at what point do you bring in the new keepers. I guess the 17 year old kid is more for the youths at moment so I assume Ryan would be in frame for first team spot
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 09:41:00

I would assume a date will be given to both Beast and Stewart - Ie, if you havent signed by X date, you could find the offer is withdrawn
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 12:42:00

Bob on , Nizic will be a youth team player & if we decided to sign the lad Ryan then either Jensen or Stewart will have their contract offer withdrawn !
Bernie Lee
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 13:24:00

I don't agree with you Phil when you say have we not got more priority. I have read the official pages and feel sure we do have bigger priorities but everything has to be solved as soon as it can be. Dealing with Aussies probably means very little confidentiality on negotiations, so we may as well let it be public and force the hands of Beast and Stewart......did you see what I did there.....Keeper force the hands....if Vital did comedy genius this would be it ;)
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 17:11:00

Completely agree VR, win win. But I would like to see the beast sign up then go on to a coaching role, when he is't dragging his heels about contracts he is an absolute professional. Hope he sign Nizic though what a youth team we would have!
Report Abuse
02/07/2012 21:09:00

Interestingly we have now signed a completely different keeper to boost our youth squad! Burnley have signed Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Mitchell. Both youth goalkeepers from last season, Ben Woodhead and Josh Cook, are no longer on our books and Mitchell will now join young keeper Callum Jakovlevs as our youth team keeping options Mitchell has already represented Northern Ireland at under 16 level and previously played for the Portrush Junior Football Club [Edited by turfmanphil]
Report Abuse
04/07/2012 10:02:00

Still no news on the beast is worrying. I do expect us to bring in at least one keeper to be honest.
Report Abuse
06/07/2012 11:31:00

Just been having a more detailed look at this guy Mat Ryan and he looks like an excellent goalkeeper with a lot of potential. Could he be exactly what we need ? A-League goalkeeper of the season last year, made a lot of appearances for good sides and even been called up to the national team. He has a lot of experience for a 23 year old.
Report Abuse
06/07/2012 11:36:00

16th July Latest on Ryan..looks a no hoper now-Highly-rated Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan is now set to travel to England for a trial with Tottenham. Burnley had attempted to take the 20-year-old on trial but were refused permission by his club Central Coast Mariners. QPR, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion remain interested
Report Abuse
16/07/2012 10:08:00


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