Date: 14th July 2017 at 2:03pm
Written by:

Manager Sean Dyche and Robbie Brady have both been speaking ahead of tonight’s opening friendly against Shamrock Rovers over in Dublin, Ireland.

Having lost two three at the Tallaght Stadium in the first leg of the Europa League second round qualifier against Czech side Mlada Boleslav on Thursday, the hosts are expected to make a number of changes for the friendly but that doesn’t concern Dyche who explained that at this stage it’s simply about fitness and getting players a good 45 minutes under their belts.

Having trained all week over in Ireland, Dyche told the Official Site.

‘It`s getting them a bit of game time and game-feel as much as anything. When you’ve been off over the summer it`s that little reminder, but it`s about fitness and well-being in the sense of getting back on the horse and riding it. They will play a maximum of 45 minutes. We`ve bought enough bodies to do that and if anyone goes down we`ll fly someone out if it`s needed.’

Having always held European based pre season training camps, Dyche went on to say that the appeal of Ireland this year was the fact that supporters could travel and feel part of our build up and that always factors into his plans.

‘It was part of our thinking to come here, that Burnley fans could make it. If you look over the number of years I`ve been here we try and do games that fans can get to. I know there`s been a couple of tricky ones, certainly in Austria, but generally we try and choose places that are accessible and this one obviously is. Shamrock kindly gave us a game and unfortunately they had a game the night before, but we knew that might happen when we planned the trip. However, they said they would definitely get a game on for us and we`re thankful for that.’

With potentially five full Republic of Ireland internationals in the Burnley group now and no doubt a good number – Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Stephen Ward, Jonathan Walters and Kevin Long – will feature in the match, there should be a good crowd pull and all five have had a stream of locals watching them train already.

For Ward in particular the game is special as it comes against the rivals of his former club Bohemians.

‘I know the club very well. I`ve played there a few times as it was a local derby for Bohemians, the club I played for in Dublin, so it will be nice to go back there. I always have fond memories of the Irish league as it gave me my grounding and helped me grow as a player, a man and an individual. That gave me the foundations I needed to go and be a success in England. It`s been brilliant to see them playing in Europe this week. Dundalk put Irish football on the map last season with their run to the Europa League group stages and any time an Irish side plays in Europe, as I did when we were at Bohemians, they have the support of the whole league.’

Brady was looking forward to hitting the ground running as he spoke ahead of the game and he’d enjoyed his time back in Ireland.

‘It feels good to be home and it`s been a good pre-season so far. We`ve had a great start to the week with the training and I`m really enjoying it and feeling good. I wanted to come back in the best shape I could, and it wasn`t only me who wanted that by the looks of things. Everyone looks really fit and raring to go.’

Brady went on to say.

‘Personally, I feel it`s a big season for me. It was fantastic to bed into such a great group here last season, but it took me a little longer than I expected and it was a little bit frustrating for me, the six months I had. It was a bit stop-start, but I feel better now and I`ve had nothing but good thoughts about hitting the ground running and having a great season. I feel there`s a lot more to come from me and hopefully I can show that. Pre-season is going to be a great benefit to myself and all the new lads who have come in. It will gel us all together and the main thing is to start the season well.’

With Dyche planning on giving people 45 minutes, the likelihood is all of our Irish contingent will get game time and Brady was looking forward to playing in front of effectively a home crowd away from home.

‘It`ll be good to play a friendly here in Ireland. We know a few of the lads who play on the Shamrock team, so it will be good to see them. It`s a great stadium and we will be looking forward to it. It`ll be good to get the legs going again and hopefully we can put on a bit of a performance and show people what`s to come in the season.’

burnley Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate