The Under-23s have gone abroad for part of their pre-season preparation for the first time and our daily postcard is bringing the story back home.
Senior coming of age
The Clarets brought just one new signing with them to Poland and it’s been a fresh start in every way for Joel Senior.
The defender arrived at Turf Moor in mid-May when he made the step up from National League North side Curzon Ashton to become part of Steve Stone’s Under-23 squad.
And having progressed through the non-league scene, it’s the first time Senior has done a full-time pre-season schedule.
“It’s been enjoyable. Obviously, it’s tough coming into this environment but it’s what you need coming into a season,” he said.
“You need to be fit and that’s what Steve’s got us doing, with the runs which will all pay off.
“It’s been tough on my body and on my legs but getting all the recovery right is the best thing to do and then go again the next day and I’ve been feeling good.”
New signing Joel Senior is figuring it out
Senior was released by Oldham Athletic when he was deemed too small at the age of 15.
But the 20-year-old has since fought his way back via non-league football with Maine Road, FC United and Curzon Ashton to make it into the professional ranks.
And he has stood up well to the rigours of a demanding training camp which has helped fast-track his introduction to the Clarets’ squad.
“It takes time to get to know everyone, but I’m enjoying being part of the group and with time you get closer to everyone,” Senior added.
“You settle in better and coming away here has helped me integrate with the others.”
The trip ends on Saturday with a game against Pogon Szczecin when Senior will get his first run-out in a Burnley shirt.
And the right-back is ready for the next stage of his development with the start if the Professional Development League season just a month ago.
“I feel like that’s when I’m best, when I’m playing games, so I’m looking forward to showing what I’m capable of,” Senior said.
“Getting back out on the pitches is something as players we all want to do and taking what we’ve learned and what we’ve been doing in training out there, so I’m looking forward to the games that are coming up.
“Everyone is fighting for positions and I’m the same. You’ve got to work hard in training and do well and hopefully when the season comes be starting. That’s the best way to go about it.”
It’s been a tough day but a valuable one for the lads, who’ve put vital miles in the legs and had a first taste of 11-a-side action of the week.
The footballs were out this morning with some attack versus defence drills followed by a series of short games designed by boss Steve Stone to start imparting some tactical background for the season.
Winners of the first taste of 11-a-side
It was competitive stuff with just one goal – Bobby Thomas heading a winner for the yellows.
Wins across every element of the week are worth points in a league table that will run until Saturday.
The afternoon session was about running.
Not quite as tough as Tuesday’s ‘3-2-1’ but still a benchmark exercise for the week and the pre-season programme.
A repeat in a couple of weeks’ time will gauge how far the lads have come.
Stone is delighted with the effort put in. If you can’t get around the pitch, you won’t be in his team.
Feeling the heat
It’s been the hottest day of the week so far.
Nothing ridiculous, but the thermometer climbed into the mid-twenties to make it warm work.
Not such a g’day
The Clarets’ Aussie goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park was quick to point out he holds dual citizenship with the UK after England trounced the old enemy in the Cricket World Cup.
The Wollongong-born shot-stopper reckons he doesn’t even like cricket.
Calderbank-Park will miss the start of the Clarets’ Under-23 campaign duo to his call-up by Australia for the the finals of the Asian Football Ferederation’s U-19s Championships in August.
Time for a spin
The second ‘court’ session of the week sat on Thursday night as the squad were tried for various ‘offences’ – ranging from mis-laying training kit to wearing the wrong socks –committed over the past couple of days.
Goalkeeping coach Craig ‘Killa’ Mawson again presided as judge with assistant manager Andy Farrell adding some gravitas to a jury headed by youth-team defender Edon Pruit.
Punishments will be acted out on Friday, with extra chores for some and starring roles in an unlikely cabaret for others.
The Clarets sign off for the week with a game against the reserve side of Polish top-flight club Pogon Szczecin here on Saturday.
Pogon’s first team plays Vitesse Arnhem at the Hotel Remes complex on Friday.
Watching that might offer a clue to what Steve Stone’s side might face on Saturday in their first warm-up game of the summer.
It’s Love Island shortly.