The Under-23s face their toughest pre-season test in a reunion with former boss Michael Duff on Saturday.
Turf Moor legend Duff left his job as Under-23s’ head coach last September to end a 14-year-association with the Clarets.
The former defender took on his first senior management post in charge of former club Cheltenham Town.
And after successfully guiding the Robins to Football League safety and a 16th-place finish, Duff is gearing up for his first full season in charge with a closing pre-season friendly at home to the Clarets.
“Duffo was a really big part of the club here,” said Steve Stone, who took over from Duff last November.
“He did an excellent job with the Under-23s and obviously worked with a lot of these players.
“He has started really well at Cheltenham, so we know what a test it will be.
“But I’m looking for our lads to go and have a real experience of what League football is.
“That’s why we’ve done it. The games we’ve been playing have been a step up from last year and this is definitely a step up. It’s a huge step up.
“We might not have a lot of the ball and let’s see what we have to do with the defending side of the game and on the counter-attack.
“It’s something we might have to do at times, and you have to learn. You have to be resilient and I sense it will be that type of game. But it’s a challenge we’ll relish.”
Cheltenham – who drew 2-2 at home to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night following a 2-1 loss to Leicester City last weekend – open their League Two campaign away to newly-promoted Leyton Orient on Saturday-week and so are likely to be close to full strength as they fine-tune their preparations.
The Clarets have so far lost and won against BetVictor Premier League opposition during their preparations for the new Professional Development League campaign.
Rob Harker scored the mid-week winner at Bamber Bridge
But having been without a couple of his ‘senior’ players, Stone is hoping reinforcements for the game at Whaddon Road (KO 3pm).
“We’ve got a few injuries, because we’ve worked them hard, and I need to get a few players in, so getting a few back from the first team would be nice,” added the U23s’ boss.
“Hopefully I will get a few stronger ones and that will make it a more competitive game and that’s what I’m looking forward to.
“It’s been great the lads have gone up to the first team – Josh (Benson), Ali (Koiki) and Dunny (Jimmy Dunne). That’s a real positive, but I might need them back.”
Admission is payable on the day: adults £12 and concessions £6.