Youth team lead phase coach John Townson has introduced a new competitive tournament for players from the U18s and U16s squads to get involved in.
The tournament, named the ‘Clarets Cup’, originally started last season, as a way of getting fringe players and un-used youth team players more game time, in addition to providing a platform for U16s who are looking to earn themselves a scholarship with the club .
In its inaugural season, just four clubs competed, however this season an impressive 12 teams are now involved across the North of England.
These are split into two groups of six, where each side will play each other just once, with the venue to be agreed from both sides and all fixtures to be played midweek. (Group matches all to be played before November).
Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a defeat, with the top four teams progressing to a quarter-final knock-out stage.
The reward for finishing top of the group is a game against the fourth-placed team from the opposite group, with second facing third, again in opposing groups.
Townson explained: “Players often need games to improve, while second year players feature more than first years throughout the course of the season.
"So this gives valuable game time to first year scholars that may not feature for the youth team on the weekend.
"It also gives the 16’s a chance, while they are trying to earn themselves a scholarship with the club for next season - and it’s a good test for them all against some good competition in a competitive environment.
"When the lads play on a Saturday for the U18s, there is a bit of an edge, with it being a competitive league game, so if you’re one of the lads that don’t get on, or play just a few minutes and need some more game time, instead of playing a training ground U17 friendly, you are now playing a competitive midweek cup match.
"So it is a step up from just a standard friendly."
Townson added: "There are some great teams involved, including Category 1 sides like Blackburn Rovers.
"Sheffield Wednesday were very successful in U18 and U23 divisions last year, while Wigan and Crewe are great academies and both Category 2, so there are a lot of good sides involved in the competition.
"There is something there for them to win and it’s an incentive for the lads to go out there, play 90 minutes of football and get something out of it at the same time.”
Preston North End
Burnley's confirmed fixtures:
Tue 20th Aug - Preston North End (H) 1:30pm, Barnfield Training Centre. (Please note this match is behind closed doors)
Tue 27th Aug - Doncaster Rovers (A) 1:30pm Cantley Park, Doncaster.