Tristan Jumeau is no longer a young Claret, but the teenager hopes his grounding in the Turf Moor Academy will still lead to a career in football.
Jumeau was released by Burnley at the end of last season after being told he would not be offered a professional contract.
But the 2016/17 Scholar of the Year, who joined the Clarets as a 13-year-old before going on to spend two years as a full-time member of the under-18 squad, is now off to the United States to take up a four-year footballing scholarship at the Georgia State University in Atlanta, Florida.
Jumeau, who this summer sat ‘A’ levels in maths and chemistry at Burnley College as part of the education package put together for their young players by the Clarets, will continue his studies in America, while getting the chance to keep alive his dream of becoming a professional player via the college ‘soccer’ system.
“If anything, Burnley fuelled that passion. As soon as you become a scholar you get a taste of what it’s like,” said the 18-year-old, who will cross the Atlantic to make a fresh start in August.
“You are in the building (training complex) with the first team. You see your team-mates and yourself doing really well and the opportunities that football can bring you.
“Over the last few years there’s definitely been an expansion and there are a more lads going out there (to America) and choosing it as a plausible option as a plan B.
“I got told in February that I wasn’t getting a contract and immediately I had an offer from Georgia State.
“Initially being told I was being released was quite a blow, but I know how competitive football is. I’m not deluded. I know it’s a very small percentage make it right to the top.
“Especially with the first team at Burnley doing so well and the new building and everything, the standard has definitely improved at the Academy.
“So, it was always going to be a hard task to get a contract. As soon as I found out I just wanted to finish the season well and enjoy my football with the under-18s and it was nice to play with as bit of pressure off.
“I always had the plan B. I was happy with my ‘A’ levels I could fall back on to go to places or in this case I could fall back onto football, as well, which has been great.”
Jumeau finished last season as top scorer in the under-18s and the winger looks back on his time at Turf Moor with great fondness.
Moving into club digs with house parents after leaving his home near Lancaster, he believes he has developed as a person over the past two years and benefited hugely from experiences like the under-18s’ pre-season tournament played in Prague last summer.
And Jumeau feels the Academy set-up now in place at the Barnfield Training Centre provides the ideal environment to prepare for a future career – as a Claret or not.
He added: “I had a stint with the under-23s for a few games last season and I got to travel and play some of the best players.
“I played an under-23s game against Liverpool and played against some of the first-teamers who played down.
“It was a bit surreal, to be playing against players who are worth millions. It’s been fantastic.
“As a person I’m all about the professionalism and doing everything right and there’s definitely been the environment there to do that.
“With the sports science and the gym programmes I have been given I’ve definitely improved athletically, as well as all the areas tactical and technical and social.
“The coaching has been fantastic. I worked with Duffo last year, obviously a top ex-professional, and Cads (Danny Cadamarteri) and JT (John Townson) this year have been really good as well, and the analysis side of it I had never experienced at all.
“It’s been interesting. I had been at Burnley for five years and I’ve seen massively the progression from when I was with the under-13s to now.
“They’ve got the new building, the quality of the sessions and the staff they have brought in has been really impressive to see in such a short time.”
Jumeau was introduced to the possibility of a footballing scholarship by a company brought into the Academy to offer players a potential alternative at the end of their contracts.
And he hopes the prospect of continuing in a good standard of football for the next four years could also open the door to a possible international future with Canada, the place of his mother’s birth and where many of his family live.
“I think there was a bit of interest at the start of last season, but nothing came of it in the end. It would be nice and I suppose I will be a bit closer over there in the States,” he said.
“I’ve seen Clarkey (James Clarke) from our team get called up for Ireland and it’s definitely a dream to play for my nation. That would be incredible.”