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Mee Still Thinking Big

Long-serving Ben delighted to sign up as he prepares to lead the Clarets in Turkey

8 August 2018

Ben Mee wants to remain a big part of the Clarets’ future after signing a new long-term deal at Turf Moor.

Mee is already Burnley’s second longest serving player after defensive sidekick Kevin Long, having signed – initially on loan from Manchester City – in 2011.

And the defender and acting captain, who has been key to two promotions to the Premier League and qualification to the Europa League for the first time, has now committed himself to the Clarets until at least June, 2021 after signing a three-year deal with a further 12 months’ option.

“It’s very pleasing and I’m delighted to put my name down for another three to four years. I’ve been a big part of this club for the last five years, I’d like to think, and hopefully that can carry on for the next few years,” said Mee.

“I spoke to the gaffer last season and said I wanted to stay at the club. I enjoy it here and that’s the main thing for me.

“I enjoy the football, playing week-in, week-out and doing well on most occasions, being consistent.

“It’s nice to get it off my back now and be able to concentrate on the season and focus on that.”

Mee, 28, is closing in on 250 appearances for the Clarets and is set to lead the side out on Thursday night when Sean Dyche’s side takes on Turkish outfit Istanbul Basaksehir in the first leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie.

Burnley earned the right after finishing seventh in the Premier League last season and getting past Aberdeen on their return to the European stage after a 51-year absence.

The club – and Mee – have come a long way since the former England under-21 international completed a permanent move from City after the Clarets had finished 13th in the Championship at the end of the 2011/12 season.

And the centre-back, who could go on to complete a decade of service to the club, is ready to embrace the next step on an impressive journey when the Clarets look to extend their European run with a positive result against a side that finished third in the Turkish Super League last season.

“It’s exciting, what’s going on at the club, and this is a big part of it as well,” said Mee as he spoke to the media after training at the Fatih Tarim Stadium 24 hours before the first leg of a tie which will see the winners face either Greek side Olympiakos or FC Lucerne of Switzerland.

“It’s moving forward and growing massively. The change has been brilliant and hopefully we can carry it on and keep progressing. It’s exciting to be involved in.

“They (Basaksehir) have some experienced players, very good players, who have been around the game a long time.

“We expect a difficult game and a tough tie, but hopefully one we can come out the other side and get through.”

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