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Having A Ball!

Debuts seasons for Nick Pope and Charlie Taylor marked by Premier League

3 May 2018

Two Clarets have been awarded their ‘Debut Balls’ from the Premier League after making their top-flight break-throughs this season.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope and left-back Charlie Taylor received replica match-day balls in personalised gift cases to mark their first Premier League appearances.

The presentations are made to home-grown players, with Pope earning his after a debut against Crystal Palace last September and Taylor qualifying thanks to a first top-flight appearance as a substitute as Burnley beat Stoke City last December to go fourth in the Premier League.

“It’s a huge honour and a proud moment to play in the Premier League,” said Taylor, 24, who joined the Clarets from Leeds United last summer and has made 10 league starts this season.

“It’s the best league in the world and to play in it is a great occasion.”

Like Taylor, Pope’s first taste of the Premier League came as a substitute as a replacement for the injured Tom Heaton.

The 26-year-old has been an ever-present since then, helping the Clarets to the verge of Europa League qualification and gaining a first England call-up in March.

“To come on mid-way through, especially for a goalkeeper, doesn’t happen too often,” said Pope.

“My main focus at the time was to get through that game. To get to that (England recognition) towards the end of the season was a great honour and something I’m very proud of and hopefully I can kick on now.”

Nick and Charlie are presented with their mementoes by Lee Collier, the Premier League Education Support Manager for Burnley.

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