Pre-season Starts at Altrincham but Bartley Out.
Burnley's senior squad get their first run out of the summer today (Saturday) when they start their pre-season programme with an away friendly at Altrincham.
The development squad of course has already played two pre-season games and they started well with a 2-0 away win against Mossley at Seel Park last Saturday. It was early goal after just three minutes that set the ball rolling for the Clarets and it came from a corner from Steven Hewitt. 19 year old, Joe Jackson who only recently signed a new 12-month contract earlier this month to extend his stay at Burnley got up to meet the ball to head home and put the Clarets 1-0 up. It looked at one point like Burnley were going to run away with the game but instead had to be content with a 1-0 score line at half-time. With Mossley coming more into the game in the second half, it was left to Wes Fletcher to seal victory with a late goal six minutes from time. He deftly turned on the ball to shoot into the corner of the net following a Luke Conlon cross.
It was another other story though on Thursday night when the Clarets development squad were outplayed by Blue Square Premier League, Barrow AFC going down eventually 3-0 thanks to a brace of goals from Adam Boyes in the first half after 16 and 39 minutes and a third goal from Obi Anorou on 78 minutes. Burnley could make an excuse that they were missing three key players with Wes Fletcher out injured and Luke Conlan and Shay McCartan on Milk Cup duty for Northern Ireland but in the end this was a game they will quickly want to forget
Burnley development squad: Connor Mitchell, Jack Errington, Aryn Williams, Alex Coleman, Tom Anderson, Archie Love, Jason Gilchrist, Steven Hewitt, Joe Jackson, Medhi Lazaar, Adam Evans.
Subs used: Luke Gallagher, Luke Daly, Nathan Lowe, Cameron Dummigan. Not used: Callum Jackovlevs
So now it`s the turn on the senior squad although of course a number of the players in the development squad will be hoping for a run out against Altrincham with so many having also signed new pro deals. Quite a few of the development squad will be hoping to make an impression in the first team next season especially with the subs bench now restored to seven players instead of five and that of course includes Cameron Howieson currently preparing with the New Zealand Olympic squad as well as Steven Hewitt, Joe Jackson, Wes Fletcher, Luke Conlan, Shay McCartan and Archie Love. Did I miss anybody?
The game against Altrincham at Moss Lane kicks off at 3pm and the Blue Square Bet North side look set to face a virtually full-strength Burnley squad. One Clarets player though who will miss out is Marvin Bartley. The 26-year-old has been struggling with an ankle injury since the squad returned to Gawthorpe for pre-season training two weeks ago. The former Bournemouth midfielder has been seen by two specialists to assess the injury which is not thought to be serious.
"We have a slight concern over Marvin Bartley, who`s had a problem with his ankle for a while and has been to see a couple of specialists and told to rest for a few weeks, said Eddie Howe this week
"He`ll be out for a period, hopefully not too long. It`s nothing serious."
Clarets fans travelling to Cheshire today to watch the game will be hoping to catch a glimpse of Burnley`s four new signings to date this summer namely Jason Shackell, Joseph Mills, Luke O`Neill and George Porter. Whatever happens though we can expect to see most of the players in with a chance of playing in the first team next season given a run-out at some point in the game and based on past precedent we will probably have two different teams playing in each half!