Date: 17th June 2012 at 2:42pm
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The Clarets second-string again lost out to Preston North End in the Central League West Division last season, once more having to be content with the runners-up spot.

This season though they will not even bother trying for the title again after deciding to pull out completely and arrange their own matches.

Eddie Howe speaking about the decision said:

‘At the end of the day the decision has been made in view of aiding the development of our young players, for a whole host of reasons,’ he said.

‘We feel the reserves league, in its current format, just wasn’t testing enough for the players.

‘Young players need to be pushed to aid their development and the structure and opposition, with respect, doesn’t do that.

‘There are not really enough regular games and those we can now arrange, either at training grounds or on first-team pitches, suits us much better.

‘We can now arrange opposition and kick-off times against the Premier League and Football League reserve teams to suit our own needs, rather than having set times.

‘In terms of our own players coming from the youth team, the main aim will be to get them out on loan and get them playing as often as possible at various levels.

‘The likes of Jay Rodriguez, and more recently Alex MacDonald, flourished when they were playing football at a higher level and that can only be good for their development and for Burnley Football Club.’

This is not the first time the club have decided not to play in a second-string league. Burnley also withdrew from the league for the 2006/07 season due to the small size of the squad, although they reversed that decision twelve months later.

The thinking this time though I believe is correct considering that the Central League West Division last season comprised of just seven teams including the Clarets second string. No disrespect to Macclesfield, Wrexham and Morecambe but these sort of clubs hardly represent a strong challenge for young gun development when there is a possibility of playing Premier League and Champiionship second-string teams by going it alone.

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