Date: 17th June 2011 at 5:31pm
Written by:

It has certainly been a busy old week for the Clarets and that is even without the rumour mill speculation and transfer gossip. It was announced this week that the club have added to their back room staff with the appointment of coach Jason Blake and scout Bryan Glover. We also found out on Thursday who we would be playing in the Carling Cup 1st Round and then today the Fixture List for the 2011-12 season. There is also an update on Chris McCann-will he, won`t he? Read on to find out more:

Blake and Glover added to Backroom Team

Burnley Football Club announced this week the appointments of coach Jason Blake and scout Bryan Glover to manager Eddie Howe`s backroom staff.

Blake will work alongside Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall with particular emphasis on working with the Clarets` young players and reserves.

And Glover will add to Burnley`s scouting strength after spending some 15 years working in football development at West Ham United.

Blake arrives at Turf Moor following the departures of Stuart Gray and Ash Hoskin earlier this summer to bolster the Clarets` coaching set-up.

The 34-year-old previously worked with Howe at Bournemouth and has also held youth coaching roles with Southampton and Reading.

“He`s someone I`m delighted to bring to the club,” Howe told the Clarets` official website.

“He will bring enthusiasm and dedication to the job, so hopefully it will be the start of an exciting time for him.

“He has had the experience of running the centre of excellence at Bournemouth and he was a big part of the team down there.

“Jason`s main strengths are working with young players and developing them.

“The young professionals will be his working area and he will be hopefully developing future players for the club.”

Bournemouth have an impressive recent history of producing young players, including the likes of Sam Vokes, Brett Pitman, Josh McQoid, Rhoys Wiggins and Jayden Stockley, and Blake`s appointment sees Howe put more of his own stamp on the Clarets.

The manager, who is over-seeing his first pre-season at Turf Moor, has also recruited Glover to work in support of chief scout Tim Henderson to help unearth future talent.

Glover was previously part of the overall development of Hammers` homegrown stars such as Michael Carrick and Joe Cole.

And his time within the Academy set-up at Upton Park coincided with the emergence of current first-teamers Jack Collison, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Freddie Sears, Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines.

“Brian has a long history in the game and worked for a long time at West Ham,” added Howe.

“He played a huge role in bringing through many of their excellent young players.

“He was part of their successes so again we are delighted to have him on board as part of the team.

“Scouting and recruitment is an area we are working very hard to improve.
“Tim works extremely hard and to add another one to that team will benefit him and the club going forward.”

Will the Brewers Droop again this time drinking too much Carling?

Burnley have been drawn against Burton Albion at Turf Moor in the Carling Cup 1st Round Draw. The home tie scheduled to be played in the week beginning August 8th will be our second fixture of the new season.

The Brewers visited Turf Moor only recently. They were pitched against the Clarets last season in the fourth round of the FA Cup, losing out eventually 3-1. The game was played at the end of January this year. A brace from Chris Eagles and a goal from substitute, Martin Paterson on his short-lived return from injury was enough to despatch the League 2 side. Burton Albion narrowly avoided relegation last season finishing in 19th place just four points clear of the drop zone. Their manager, Paul Peschisolido, is probably not relishing a return to Turf Moor but the Clarets will need to be on their guard and make sure they avoid that dreaded banana skin against lower league opposition.

The 2011-12 Fixtures are Here!

Burnley face Watford at Turf Moor in the opening game of the new season

The opening game will be played on Saturday 6th August and will kick-off at 3pm. Malky MacKay will not be their manager in charge for the clash following news today that he has become the new gaffer at Cardiff City replacing Dave Jones. Jones left after the Bluebirds disappointment of not reaching the play-offs final last season despite at one point looking like automatic promotion candidates.

Clarets fans may also be wondering when we play our only Lancashire derbies against Blackpool following the demise and relegation of Preston North End to League 1 last season. The relegated former Premier League club after just one season in the top flight will first face the Clarets at Turf Moor on Saturday 29th October. We then play them at Bloomfield Road in our penultimate game of the season on Saturday 21st April before our last game of the season at home to Bristol City.

If you want to know the complete fixture list simply click this link:

Burnley 2011-12 Season Fixture List

So what of Chris McCann?

Clarets fans have been waiting anxiously hoping that Chris McCann will be tempted to sign a new contract rather than bomb down the road to join Owen Coyle`s Bolton in the Premier League. Although denied by the club, Bolton are thought to have tried to tempt McCann with the offer of a three-year deal

The latest news suggests that the club are bullish and optimistic that McCann will indeed soon put pen to paper and agree a new deal at Turf Moor.

Operational Director, Brendan Flood is understood to have had regular contact with McCann`s agent, and it is thought that talks could be concluded today (Friday 17th June)

The 23 year old midfielder was offered terms before making his comeback from a series of serious knee injuries, which kept him out of action for almost two full seasons and required reconstructive surgery last summer. He impressed Eddie Howe in his comeback game against Derby County at Pride Park in April and he also scored in that game helping the Clarets to secure a 4-2 win victory. He also finished the season captaining the side in our final game at home to Cardiff. We can but hope although at least Eddie Howe sounds confident that Chris will still be on our books come the start of the new season.

Speaking to the Official Site he said:

“We are in discussions with Chris and we are very hopeful that we can reach a positive conclusion,

“We are very keen for him to stay. He`s a massive part of our plans going forward”

Join The Vital Debate