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Heaton Joy at 'Homecoming'

17 May 2013

New Clarets keeper on his Burnley connections

Summer signing Tom Heaton insists he had no hesitation in joining a club with “huge potential" after sealing a free transfer to the Clarets.

Heaton will sign a two-year deal with a further one-year option from July 1st after agreeing personal terms following his departure from Bristol City.

And the former England U21 stopper - whose family hail from the area and are lifelong Burnley fans and season ticket holders – is looking to give them plenty to cheer about at Turf Moor!

Heaton, 27, said: “This is a fantastic football club with huge potential. 

“I spoke to the manager and staff, who I met before when he was at Watford, and I also know the goalkeeping coach, Billy Mercer, so everything fits. 

“The history of the club and the family brings the nostalgia back, so I think it’s a great time for me to come and sign here.

“Hopefully the club is moving in the right direction and we can do something special.”

Chester-born Heaton, 6ft 2in, began his career with Manchester United, where he enjoyed numerous loan spells at Swindon Town, Royal Antwerp, Cardiff City, QPR, Rochdale and Wycombe Wanderers.

After making his England U21 debut in 2008, he finally left Old Trafford in 2010 in pursuit of regular first team football and spent two years back at Cardiff, making 40 appearances and starring in their 2011/12 League Cup campaign, where he saved two penalties against Crystal Palace in the semi-final and another from Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard in the penalty shoot-out final defeat at Wembley.

Heaton then moved on to Bristol City in the summer of 2012, but was unable to halt the Robins’ relegation to League One.

Reflecting on his early career, Heaton said: “I was at United for a long time, but it was the right thing to do to leave and go and play. 

“I’ve done that over the last few years and hopefully built some foundations that Burnley can benefit from.

“I certainly want to concentrate on getting better and I want to play in the Premier League and I want to do that with Burnley.

“I think there is huge potential at the place. 

“If you look at the squad there are some very good players here and you only need to look how they finished the season, so I am very excited about the future and looking forward to getting started and getting pre-season underway.”

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