Date: 17th April 2011 at 9:09pm
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Another week goes by and it is another week where you may have missed some little snippets of Clarets news. Just in case let`s play catch-up…

Canada beckons for Eckersley

Right back, Richard Eckersley must be regretting ever signing for Burnley. He has only played in three games for the Clarets since being signed from Manchester United by Owen Coyle in July 2009 and all of them in the Carling Cup against lower league opposition. Eckersley signed a four-year contract too but has spent nearly two years being sent out on loan to various clubs unable to breakthrough into the Burnley first team under three successive managers, Coyle, Laws and Howe.

Eckersley made his Burnley debut in a 2009-10 Football League Cup match playing in the club’s second round match against Hartlepool United. The Clarets won that one 2-1 but Eckersley was sent off in the tenth minute of extra time and that seems to have lumbered him with the reputation of being somewhat hot-headed and a bit of a liability in the minds of some Clarets fans.

A sequence of loans followed including Plymouth Argyle (2010), Bradford City (2010-11) and more recently Bury. Eckersley this week has moved out on loan again but this time further afield.

He has now joined Canadian side Toronto on loan until January 2012 after being recalled from his loan spell at Bury.

The link with the Major League Soccer outfit is Paul Mariner who is now Toronto’s director of player development. Mariner was the gaffer during Eckersley`s two-month loan spell at Plymouth Argyle last season.

The Clarets are clearly going to have to decide what to do with Eckersley long-term and maybe it is now time to cut our losses sooner rather than later. Because Eckersley was under the age of 24 at the time he moved to Turf Moor (and he is still only 22 now), his old club, United were entitled to compensation from Burnley.

A tribunal eventually decided what the level of compensation would be eventually in March 2010 and Burnley claimed a victory.

Burnley pitched in with a £300,000 offer with United demanding £1million for Eckersley but the tribunal ruled in the end that the Clarets should pay £500,000 for the defender. A victory it might have been but three games over two years is hardly a good investment and once again we can lay the blame at the door of Owen Coyle who saw something in a player that so far nobody else has.

Five Youths Land Burnley Deals

Five members of the Clarets youth team have been offered professional contracts for next season

Joe Jackson, Mehdi Lazaar, David Lynch, Joe McKee and Ross Wilson who are all second-year scholars been offered deals for 2011-12.

Dean Overson, James Taylor and Tommy Taylor have also been offered extended scholarships after being sidelined with injury for long periods of this season.

Three of our defenders though are to be released so we will be saying goodbye to Stephen Edwards, Ed Williams and Curtis Woods.

Martin Dobson, Director of Youth development talking about the decisions said:

“I am delighted for the lads who have been offered contracts.

‘It is well deserved.

“They are going onto the first rung of the professional ladder and it`s a whole new ball game for them now.

“But we are here to help them and it`s an exciting time for them to look forward to when they come back up and running for pre-season.”

Dobson talking about the released players said:

“It was a very difficult decision for those who have not been kept on. They were close calls.

“Their attitude has been terrific and we would like to think they will get opportunities elsewhere.

“I have been in their position myself. We will help them where we can and if they go on to prove us wrong and are successful elsewhere then we will be delighted for them.”

Swings and Roundabouts for Burnley Second-String

Burnley Reserves have been yo-yoing at the top of the League West Table for most of the year after establishing an eleven point lead earlier in the season and then losing it. They won 2-0 against Macclesfield on Monday night to go back on top thanks to goals from Chris McCann and Louis-Rae Beadle but they face a major challenge from Preston North End who are currently second in the league just two points behind the Clarets with two games in hand. Our local rivals could be league leaders again if they beat bottom club, Bury on Monday night. It all looks to be gearing up for the last game of the season when Burnley play Preston at Turf Moor on Wednesday April 27th!

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