Date: 9th July 2011 at 1:16pm
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Clarets fans have been reeling this week about the club`s failure to sign Jack Cork who is now on Southampton`s books! Not only that of course but we play our first pre-season game today with no new summer signings whatsoever for Clarets fans to watch. I won`t bore you again with all the debate surrounding Cork and the lack of signings which is adequately covered elsewhere on Vital Burnley. Instead we report on other Clarets news this week in case you missed it!

Wes Fletcher Signs New Deal

Wes Fletcher was one of four development squad players to have been offered new contracts at the end of last season. The good news is, he has now followed in the footsteps of Alex MacDonald, Alex -Ray Harvey and Dominic Knowles by putting pen to paper and agreeing a new deal.

The 20 year old promising striker has committed himself to the Clarets by agreeing a new two-year contract at Turf Moor.

He follows former youth-team players Chris McCann and Alex McDonald in agreeing fresh terms since the Clarets returned to start pre-season training.

Fletcher, a prolific scorer at youth and reserve level since joining the club in 2007, made his senior Burnley debut as a substitute in a Carling Cup tie last season.

He has also gained first-team experience during loan spells at Grimsby Town and Stockport County and boss Eddie Howe is looking for him to make further progress this season.

“We rate Wes very highly. We think he has a lot of ability,” said Howe.

“He probably needs to go and play, whether that be a loan spell or be with us.

“I think he needs to get some professional games under his belt but he`s got something. He`s got pace, he`s a good finisher and he scores goals.

“We have high hopes for him and it`s on his shoulders now to see how far he can develop.”

Fletcher was set to figure for the Clarets in the Championship at the end of last season and the former Liverpool schoolboy hopes he can make an impact when the new campaign gets under way next month.

“It was a shame I was injured for the last game because the manager said I would have been involved, but hopefully I can crack on this year and get myself there,” said Fletcher.

“This is the biggest year I`m going to have really to make the breakthrough.

“That second year is always there but this year I`m hoping to make the breakthrough and play for the first team.”

Cherries Get in a Strop!!

Bournemouth started to throw accusations at Burnley Football Club this week alleging they had been unprofessional whilst suggesting they had made an illegal approach for AFC Bournemouth chief scout Des Taylor. Taylor resigned earlier this week but worked with Eddie Howe during the Burnley boss`s two years in charge of Bournemouth. The Cherries believe Taylor to be in breach of his contract, which expires in June 2012 and do not appear to have accepted his reason for leaving which is reported to be due to club`s lack of ambition at Dean Court.

Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell accused the Clarets of improper conduct following Taylor`s departure and the war of words continued until eventually the Burnley board issued a statement on the official website.

The statement read:
“Burnley Football Club strongly refutes allegations made today (Wednesday 6th July)) by AFC Bournemouth Chairman Mr Eddie Mitchell.

“In a statement on the AFC Bournemouth official website, Mr Mitchell accuses Burnley Football Club of being “underhand and unprofessional“ and of making an illegal approach for chief scout Mr Des Taylor.

“This statement is factually incorrect in all regards to Burnley Football Club, which has not approached, nor offered Mr Taylor any position at Turf Moor.

“Nor, as alleged by Mr Mitchell, did Burnley Football Club utilise the services of Mr Taylor at the U21 European Championships in Denmark this summer.

“In closing, Burnley Football Club will always aim to be honest, open and professional in their dealings with other football clubs”

That will hopefully be the end of the matter but we leave the last word to Taylor himself who told the media:

“I have left for the right reasons and see my future elsewhere.

‘I don`t have any concrete plans at the moment and will see what the future holds.”

Another Fixture Change-Blackpool at Home

Burnley`s Lancashire derby at home to Blackpool on Saturday, October 29, has been chosen by Sky Sports for live television coverage so will now kick-off later at 5.20pm instead of 3pm.

Jacko Injury

Young 18 year old striker Joe Jackson is facing a spell on the sidelines.

Jackson signed a 12-month-contract earlier this summer but has now injured his foot in training earlier this week.
It was a recurrence of a problem he had last year while working with the development squad and Burnley gaffer, Eddie Howe is now waiting to discover the extent of the damage.

‘Jacko had a problem last year with a fractured foot and unfortunately in the first couple of days back in he has felt something go again,’ Howe told the club’s official website.

‘He is in a cast at the moment and we will have to wait and see how long he’s going to be out for.

‘Unfortunately we will lose him for a spell but he has got a great attitude and he will be back.’

Burnley X-Files: Nugent and Caldwell Find New Clubs

Some Clarets fans may have been hoping that the speculation regarding Eddie Howe`s interest in bringing former on-loan striker, David Nugent back to Turf Moor was in fact true. If it was then we have failed to sign him. Nugent instead signed for Leicester City for 3 years this week after his contract with Portsmouth expired. Leicester, who were in League 1 not so long ago, certainly have money to burn and are showing all the signs of ambition needed to get a club promoted. Sven-Goran Eriksson must be in seventh heaven having also signed Reading defender, Matt Mills for about £5 million, defenders, Sean St Ledger from Preston and Lee Peltier from Huddersfield both for an undisclosed fee plus keeper Kasper Schmeichel from Leeds. They are still hunting for players too and have recently been linked with Owen Hargreaves.

Another former Claret in the news this week was our ex-skipper, Steven Caldwell. The 30-year-old centre-back was out of contract at Wigan and has now made a return to the Championship after signing a two-year contract with Birmingham. Caldwell had just one season with Wigan and never really established himself in the side making just 15 appearances. So the brief period he spent with his brother, Gary at the same club is now over! Brum too have been active in the summer transfer window. Caldwell was their fifth signing and he joins new players, Marlon King, Chris Burke, Morgaro Gomis and Adam Rooney.

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