Date: 16th May 2008 at 10:07am
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It was reported on Sky Sports yesterday that David Unsworth had turned down a player-coach deal offered by Clarets gaffer, Owen Coyle.

The 34-year old defender has in the past maintained that he wished to end his playing career with the Clarets so the decision if true is perhaps surprising.

The former England international is also working towards his UEFA A licence at Scotland’s Largs facility in the close season and the coaching side of the offer was expected to appeal to him.

Despite his age the player still believes though that he has a couple of seasons left in him yet and is still eager to play for the first team.

Last season he made 28 starts but Owen Coyle indicated recently that he might find opportunities limited next season.

Nevertheless, Unsworth who joined the Clarets last August on a free, had been offered a one-year contract extension with the opportunity to both play and coach.

Coyle recently stated:

‘I think David Unsworth did very well for us in the games he has played,

‘I had a lengthy chat with him. I hold him in very high esteem, and I probably see a bit of myself in him.

‘He still feels he has got something to offer on the playing front, but I think he maybe won’t get as many games.

‘It’s up to him to prove me wrong.’

‘It would be a big financial sacrifice on his part and (if he accepts), it’s probably testimony to the man he is.’

However in the words of Elton John it looks like Unsworth might be singing ‘It’s No Sacrifice’ with Sky Sports yesterday suggesting that the former Everton player had turned down the offer.

The feeling is perhaps that he might want to play more rather than coach more at this stage of his career and that it is unlikely the financial side has much bearing on his decision if indeed the rumour is true.

There has been no official announcement on Unsworth nor indeed on Andrew Cole who was also rumoured in the Daily Mail yesterday to have turned down a deal.

David Unsworth before the deal was offered said this to the press

‘I said to the gaffer in January that, at this stage of my career, I don’t want to be moving around.

‘I feel there are still a couple of seasons left in me, without a doubt.

‘I’ve really enjoyed this season, so hopefully we’ll sit down and sort something out.’

‘I started my coaching badges last season and then they run every summer for a couple of years until you’re fully qualified. I’ve done my UEFA B, so I’m working towards my A licence.

‘I’m on the long, arduous journey down the coaching courses, but it’s enjoyable.

‘We have always been told to do your coaching courses while you are still playing, and since I’ve done it I wish I had started it earlier.’

Burnley seem to have had a raft of disappointing news recently with Jon Harley and now it would appear both Andrew Cole and David Unsworth turning down deals.

Of the six offered deals, James O’Connor and Jay Rodriguez have still not officially decided and only Brian Jensen so far has accepted a deal offered by Coyle.