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Time for an Alty-Cation?


Moss Lane

Saturday 9th July 2011


The Clarets play their first pre-season friendly today away to non-league Altrincham amidst some controversy. The club have still not managed to sign any new players this summer much to the concern of a number of Clarets fans and have also failed to snap-up Jack Cork with the England Under 21 international having signed for Southampton in midweek.

The Pre-amble

It only seems like a minute ago that we were bringing 2010-11 to a close in our final game of the season at home to Cardiff City and now already pre-season is in full swing with our first friendly about to be played today involving a trip to Greater Manchester to play Altrincham

So then Altrincham! What do we know about them? Well Alty (as they are fondly known) were founded in 1891 when they were known as Broadheath F.C. They changed to their present name in 1903. They currently play in the Conference North (Blue Square Bet North), having been relegated from the Conference National (Blue Square Bet Premier League) at the end of the 2010-11 season. Lee Sinnott is their manager and they play their home games at Moss Lane, a ground that has a capacity of 6.085. Also nicknamed 'The Robins', they play in red & white stripes with black shorts.

They have been busy in the close season trying to build up their squad with four new signings and three new trialists likely to feature in the friendly against the Clarets. At the moment though they still only have 13 registered players.

The Clarets of course are now stepping up their pre-season training and will be hoping to ditch a few cobwebs in their first competitive game of the summer. Eddie Howe has virtually a full squad to choose from and we can expect to see a large number of them at some point during the game. It is likely Howe will experiment with team selection, formation and tactics throughout the match as he starts to work out in our pre-season friendlies a starting eleven for our opening game of the new season at home to Watford on Saturday 6th August. One player though who will definitely not feature against Altrincham will be Charlie Austin. He has more or less fully recovered from his dislocated shoulder but Eddie Howe has stated that he just wants to give the former Swindon striker a little more time and that there is nothing for fans to worry about (We will of course!! )

Clarets fans expecting to see some new signings on show look likely to be disappointed with no new players having yet arrived at the club during the summer. This is certainly causing concern amongst fans and usually by now during the summer, we have had some new signings with those players getting used to their team mates during the pre-season warm up games. Howe though seems somewhat blasť about the situation:

"Other clubs are beginning to move and hopefully we will have news in the coming days or weeks,' Howe told the club's official website.

'I think we need to add some players to the squad.

'We are happy with the squad as it is, but we want to improve it and I think we need to.'

It is possible though we still might see a new face or two at Moss Lane today since it would appear we have a couple of trialists at the club

Altrincham Team News:

Alty will have lots of new faces on show especially in defence. There have been three new signings to add to the back four. Adam Flynn has been signed from Southport as well as Hyde pairing Chris Lynch and Mark Lees. This is not the same Lynch that was released by Burnley at the end of last season; this one plies his trade at right back. 19-year-old midfielder Brian Summerskill completes the summer signings to date having arrived from Northwich Victoria.

With currently only 13 registered players and three trialists to choose from, Altrincham could soon tire against a rampant Clarets team but it will be a good test for Burnley in their first pre-season friendly.

Player to watch: Michael Twiss

The 33 year old Salford-born midfielder got his footballing career off to an illustrious start after catching the eye of Manchester United and being on the club`s books for three years between 1997 and 2000. Twiss though never made his first-team debut for the Red Devils and during his time at Old Trafford was also sent out on loan to Sheffield United making 12 appearances from the Blades and scoring one goal during the 1998-99 season. His career after that went somewhat downhill! Spells at Port Vale, Leigh RMI, Chester City, Morecambe and Stalybridge Celtic followed before he signed for Altrincham in June 2010 penning a two year deal. In the summer he signed a new contract having made 32 appearances for the club (16 starts) the previous season.

Burnley Team News:

Charlie Austin appears to be the only squad player who will definitely not feature today. Howe is giving him more time to fully recover from his dislocated shoulder. Two new trialists could also be on show but whether we find out who they are remains to be seen.

Player to watch: Martin Paterson

With no new signings likely to be on show, Clarets fans will have to be content with the next best thing. Striker, Martin Paterson missed most of last season with a persistent thigh injury. It would be good to see him tear the Alty defence apart and bag a goal or two. A good pre-season performance or two will hopefully ensure he remains at Turf Moor following gossip that one or two Championship clubs, including Pompey and Reading are showing interest in the former Scunthorpe striker and may already have made bids.

Last Time We Met

The Clarets last played Alty in the third round of the FA Cup back in the 1981-82 season. The match was played at Turf Moor on the 18th January 1982 and we stuffed them 6-1! There was a hat-trick from Northern Ireland international, Billy Hamilton and a brace for Steve Taylor. Trevor Steven completed the rout. Surprisingly we were only 1-0 up at half-time with a total of six goals coming in the second half. The Burnley team that day contained a certain, Brian Laws and other household names and legends including Alan Stevenson, Martin Dobson, Vince Overson and Tommy Cassidy.

10,174 fans watched the game and saw the Clarets progress to the 4th round in convincing style. Sadly though, we would be knocked out by Shrewsbury in the next round after losing 1-0 away.

It would be a good season in the end for the Clarets though since we would finish Champions of the Third Division despite a dreadful start that saw the Clarets languishing in the relegation zone for most of 1981.

Match Prediction:

3-0 Clarets sounds about right!

Next Pre-season Friendly

It`s another short trip, this time to Gigg Lane to play Bury on the night of Tuesday 12th July (Kick-Off 7:45pm)

Date:Saturday July 9 2011
Time: 9:32AM


Wonder who the trialists are? I can't remember though the last time we had a trialist and signed him? Hopefully someone will know
09/07/2011 09:34:00
I remember something about Paddy Madden coming on trial from Bohemians. Wonder what happened there.
09/07/2011 11:20:00
Good to see this 'Project Premiership' idea up and running. Shows some growth in the club and that we are moving in the right direction. We will be boosting revenue greatly because of this which will increase turnover, allowing us to have more money to spend on players in the future. Good forward thinking from everyone associated with the club in my opinion. But the time we really need to sign players is now, and we need to see a bit of movement. We have a good squad, but we need to make sure its good enough. So to some extent I agree with Eddie Howe that it has the potential to be good enough, but he would like to tweak it to make sure. Missing out on Jack Cork was a massive error, so hopefully Eddie will make up for it with a couple of unexpected quality signings.
09/07/2011 11:31:00
Just found out this useful information-The live radio commentry will be available from 2.45pm. on alty's own online radio station. The link can be found via this thread on an Alty forum,
09/07/2011 11:54:00
0 appears to be the actual link!!
09/07/2011 11:57:00
Adam should not need to be thinking about the Project Premiership with the prem money still coming in we should be thinking which players to buy, and not wondering where the money has gone. Remember Kilby comment on reaching the Prem this will make the Club stable for a number of years where have all the years gone.
09/07/2011 11:59:00
I think the best line up we can have next season with the current players in the squad is as follows: GK-Brian Jensen, RB-Tyrone Mears, CB-Andre Bikey, CB-David Edgar, LB-Danny Fox, RM-Wade Elliott, CM-Chris McCann, CM-Marvin Bartley, LM-Chris Eagles, ST-Martin Paterson, ST-Jay Rodriguez. And we do have other good players like Charlie Austin, who could replace one of these starters depending on how his season starts off, Dean Marney who is still a strong midfield man, Ross Wallace who at times was very good last season, Michael Duff who put in some very strong performances last season and Lee Grant who is a proven goalkeeper and rarely makes mistakes. Iwelumo, Carlisle, Easton and Cort are also amongst the backups. This is a very good side compared to almost all other Championship sides. Yes we have lost Cork from last year, and that was a big loss, but we will have Paterson, Austin and McCann coming back like new signings. In essence, I believe what Eddie is saying about the squad being good enough but he would to tweak it and improve slightly is an accurate account of the situation that we are in and I have faith that we will see a couple of new players joining us. Some people have been saying that we finished 8th with Cork so surely we can only expect an even lower finish without him, but we threw away points against the likes of Coventry, Ipswich, Scunthorpe, Doncaster and so on, in addition to some thrown away points earlier in the season under Brian Laws. Not to mention the fact that the players had to adjust to a manager change and the manager having to adjust to new surroundings its not a surprise that we norrowly missed out on the play-offs. This all contributed to an unfortunate finish and considring next season should be a fresh start for everybody after some experience working with new staff, and we will be welcoming three vitally important players back
09/07/2011 14:02:00
*plus hopefully a couple of extra players we should be well up there challenging for auto-promotion by the end of the season, even possibly the title. We are in a much better situation than some fans seem to be suggesting, we should be more confident.
09/07/2011 14:04:00
I more or less agree with your assessment Adam, and yes I'm seriously hoping for a fresh, strong challenge from the lads this season under Eddie Howe's new regime. But the Cork fiasco is still a major blow to the plans in my opinion. He was our player, he wanted to play for us and we didn't even have a bid accepted!! So much for the premiership cash, the parachute payments and the millions we had for Fletcher. Jack Cork is going to get better and better, and now unfortunately it won't be with us.
09/07/2011 14:21:00
The link is working! Darren Bentley got in on the act! Some weird distorted radio music in the background, wish they would turn that off!!
09/07/2011 14:44:00
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