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Youth Team Ready to Break New Ground

Clarets face Watford in league opener

11 August 2017

The Clarets’ youth team begins life in the Under-18 Professional Development League on Saturday when they take on Watford at the Barnfield Training Centre (kick-off 11am).

Burnley’s elevation to Category Two status at Academy level has earned them a place in the northern division of the competition.

And coach Danny Cadamarteri (above) is looking forward to seeing his players test themselves in new surroundings.

“I can’t wait to get started now,” said Cadamarteri.

“It’s an important step forward for the club and I’m looking forward to seeing how we do.

“We’ve worked hard in pre-season and it will be good to play some competitive football now.”

Cadamarteri is no stranger to the league, having guided Sheffield Wednesday to the play-off semi-finals last season when he ran the under-18s at Hillsborough.

But it is unchartered territory for the Clarets as a whole and a welcome step up from the Football League Youth Alliance in terms of the potential for player development.

“It’s a new league so no-one really knows what to expect,” said Adam Bruce, one of two goalkeepers in the Burnley squad.

“But if we play like we did out in Prague, we should be in for a good year.”

Part of the Clarets’ pre-season build-up involved a 12-team competition in the Czech capital, where Bruce was named goalkeeper of the tournament in helping Burnley reach the final.

Cadamarteri’s squad has since stepped up its preparations at home, playing friendlies against Middlesbrough and Preston and then taking on Celtic and Brighton at England’s St George’s Park base last weekend.

The youth-team boss has named a 17-man squad for the visit of Watford, including 11 first-year scholars with a couple of second-years in line for inclusion in the U23s for their curtain-raiser at Crystal Palace next Monday.

Burnley: Bruce, Moss, Mpofu, Kershaw, Clarke, Thomas, Jumeau, Mupariwa, Fowler, Yari, Samms, Allan-Meredith, Cropper, Harris, Taylor, Egan, Wusiewicz.

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