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Club News

Double-Figure Duty For Clarets

25 May 2017

Up to 10 members of the Clarets' squad could be involved in international games this summer as their season is extended.
 
Tom Heaton's place in England's squad for their World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Hampden Park on 10 June, and a friendly against France in Paris on 13 June, has been confirmed. 
 
However, Michael Keane is unable to join the Clarets' captain in Gareth Southgate's squad due to injury.
 
England cruised to a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture against Scotland at Wembley in November and will be hoping to extend their unbeaten record as Group F leaders with a repeat in Glasgow. 
 
Elsewhere, Kevin Long will hope to make his international bow when he joins Turf Moor team-mates Steven Ward, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick in the Republic of Ireland squad for three summer games.
 
Martin O’Neill’s side faces Mexico in the United and States and then Uruguay in a home friendly on 2 and 4 June respectively.
 
They then take on Austria in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin on 11 June, when the Irish will be hoping to sustain their challenge for qualification for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
 
Long has been taking part in a three-day training camp at Fota Island, near to his Cork home, with several members of the squad that play in Ireland and in the Championship.
 
And the Clarets' defender, 26, received words of encouragement from assistant manager Roy Keane following his recent promotion to Premier League starting duty with the Clarets.
 
Roy Keane worked with Burnley first-team coach Tony Loughlan at Sunderland
 
Keane said: "You have to be patient sometimes but he’s obviously had a good few months. He’s been in the background at Burnley for quite a while.
 
"I know one or two of the staff members there and they speak highly of him.
 
"Burnley turned down plenty of offers for him to go out on loan in the Championship and he’s got his chance in the Premier League recently and done well.
 
"I’ve seen him a couple of times. He’s a good strong boy. Obviously, he’s not a kid and I’m sure if he gets a chance in Mexico he’ll take it. And that’s what happens in football sometimes. 
 
"Sometimes fellas come into the squad at 18 or 19 years of age, whether it’s a Robbie Keane or a (Robbie) Brady and then other lads come in a bit later in their career and that’s fine also.
 
"As I’ve said, we don’t have the biggest pool of players so if lads are playing, particularly at Premier league level, then obviously they are going to be considered."
 
Also in Group D, Sam Vokes should feature as Wales face Serbia in Belgrade on 11 June. The two drew 1-1 in Cardiff in November, with Wales now needing a win to close the four-point gap behind joint group leaders Serbia and the Ireland.
 
Belgian midfielder Steven Defour will hope to be included in the squad that face the Czech Republic in a friendly on 5 June in Brussels, and for the following World Cup qualifier against Estonia, who Roberto Martinez's side beat 8-1 in November to help them top Group H.
 
Scott Arfield's Canada face Curacao in a friendly in Montreal before the CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off in July, where the 'Canucks' will hope to win the competition for the first time since 2000.
 
Meanwhile, Johann Berg Gudmundsson's Iceland face Croatia in a World Cup qualifier on 11 June. 
 
Victory for Iceland over the Croats in Reykjavík would put the two nations equal on points in Group I. 
 
The last fixture between the two was played behind closed doors in Zagreb in November and resulted in a 2-0 win to Croatia.
 
Finally for the Clarets' contingent, goalkeeper Conor Mitchell, who is currently with Northern Ireland’s full squad in a training camp, will hope to be included in the U21s as they kick-off their U21 European qualifying campaign away to Estonia on 8 June.
 

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