Danny Cadamarteri is looking forward to a fact-finding mission in the Czech Republic as he leads his new Burnley side into a top-class youth tournament.
The Clarets’ under-18 side flew out today (Wednesday) to Prague to take part in the prestigious Generali CEE Cup.
Burnley are one of 12 sides competing in the under-19 tournament, which is now in its seventh year and which this summer includes Everton and Leicester City among the invited clubs.
It’s a first trip to the tournament for the Clarets and comes at an ideal time for new under-18s coach Cadamarteri following his arrival at Turf Moor to replace Michael Duff, who is now in charge of the under-23s.
“I think overall it will be good for me to see the lads in a different environment, seeing them away from the training ground and out of their comfort zone a little bit,” said Cadamarteri, who joined Burnley earlier this month after leaving Sheffield Wednesday’s Academy.
“We had a game against Morecambe the other day, which was good seeing the lads all get one half each and the chance of seeing them play.
“When we get away, we’ll have competitive fixtures and something to play for, so we can see how they adapt in a different environment and a different culture, and as the new coach, it will be good for me as well.
“We have four games over there, which will obviously give me more of an insight as to where the players are at, and what we need to focus on and work on moving into the start of the season.”
The Clarets – who have travelled with a 20-strong squad - start out against host club Sparta Prague on Thursday before facing Canadian club Prostars FC on Friday.
The second phase of the competition will then be drawn on Saturday to decide the Clarets’ final two opponents.
The tournament will provide an excellent build-up towards Burnley’s move into the Professional Development League’s under-18 division for Category 2 clubs.
The switch from the Football League Youth Alliance will be a challenge for Cadamarteri and his new charges, but it’s one that former Everton and Huddersfield Town striker, 37, is looking forward to after getting his feet under the table at the Barnfield Training Centre.
“It’s been so far so good, really interesting,” he added.
“I had a great season with Sheffield Wednesday last season, so having experience with a club that have played in a Category 2 academy regularly comes in handy and I can have a good insight.
“When you look at the team we have, you could probably say we will be physically smaller than the other teams in the Category 2 division, although we have really good technical players.
“Obviously, there is a bit of work to do organisation-wise, but a couple of the older lads are very well drilled after having Duffo (Michael Duff) with them last season.
“But we have a lot of younger lads coming in now who need to be up to speed.”
For more information, please visit www.ceecup.org