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Pepper ready for final shake-up

Academy boss delighted with cup run as Everton wait in Czech final

24 July 2017

The Clarets will play Everton in the final of the Generali Cee Cup as they look to win the ‘battle of Britain’ in the Czech Republic.

The two Premier League sides have made it through to the final of the 12-team tournament in Prague.

And Burnley’s under-18s could become television stars with Wednesday’s final set to be screened live in the host country.

“It’s a high-profile competition out here,” said Jon Pepper, (above) Burnley’s Academy Manager, who is with the Clarets’ party.

 “Everton are one of the strongest Academies in the country so it will be a tough game and we might have to bring in some fresh legs.

“But you don’t get many opportunities to win a trophy.

“Not many of the group have been in this position so let’s go for it and see how we do.

Kwazinkosi Mpofu scored the clinching penalty in the Clarets' semi-final shoot-out win

"It would be a good way to start to the season – although I think it has been anyway.

“It shows we are moving forward in a positive way. The groups are getting stronger and I think going into Category 2 status we will be okay.”

The Clarets’ Academy has been up-graded this summer, which will mean a better standard of football next season.

The club has also brought in former Everton striker Danny Cadamarteri as under-18s coach following Michael Duff’s elevation to the under-23s.

And Cadamarteri has the chance to make an instant impression against his former club after Everton thumped Sarajevo 6-0 in their semi-final and the Clarets got past Turkish side Altinordu on penalties after back-to-back wins in the group stages.

“We came into the tournament with no real expectations. We’re still in pre-season and hadn’t played 90 minutes,” Pepper added.

Adam Bruce was beaten only once in the shoot-out against Altinordu (pics: Svatopluk Samler)

"We thought we’d be doing some training and getting a couple of games under our belts, so we’ve really exceeded expectations.

“But everyone has been very focused and wanted to do well with a new coach.

“We have got 13 first-years who have wanted to impress and the boys have done very well.

“There has been a real momentum within the Academy over the past 10 months or so with a feeling that it can be a pathway to a career and I think that has helped with the focus and everything that has gone on out here.

“We’ve got a good group of kids who have bonded very well and everything has been done very professionally, including the sports science, nutrition and analysis.

"It's been a very productive trip."

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