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Young Clarets 'Polish' Up Their Prep

U23s break new ground in training camp to learn the ropes under Stone

8 July 2019

The Clarets have taken a 23-man squad to Poland for a first overseas training camp at Under-23 level.

The party – led by head coach Steve Stone – touched down in Berlin on Sunday night before transferring to their base at a hotel and sports complex at Opalenica, near Poznan.

Training started on Monday morning, with a week-long schedule planned ahead of a warm-up game against Pogo Szczecin on Saturday.

The Clarets are without midfielder Josh Benson and full-back Ali Koiki, who have travelled with the senior squad to Portugal, while goalkeeper George McMahon is on international duty with the Republic of Ireland at the U19 European Championship finals in Armenia.

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But the bulk of the squad likely to feature under Stone in the Professional Development League this season, as well as five players promoted from the Under-18s and a couple of trialists, will be put through their paces on and off the pitch.

“I’m hoping they understand what a trip like this is all about,” said Stone, who guided the Clarets to fourth place in the league, the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup and the final of the Lancashire FA Senior Cup last season.

“The first team do it. I’ve done many over the years and I’ve tried to show what a pre-season trip abroad is all about, so that when they do move up to first-team level it’s seamless.

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“That’s what my job is to do – in everything from the football to the trips away.

“That’s one of the reasons, and also to get some of the younger lads to integrate into the squad.

“It’s a team-building exercise, along with the hard work. And the hard work you do actually brings out the teamwork and that’s what I hope to bring.”

Stone is being supported by assistant boss Andy Farrell, goalkeeping coach Craig Mawson, Academy head of sport science Alex Ouzounoglou, analyst Josh Walmsley and physio Antony Reedy.

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And the former England international is looking to continue the rapid progress the U23s made last season in just their second year as a Category Two Academy set-up.

“It’s also for the staff to be close and knit like we did last season,” Stone added.

“The staff are close anyway, and this is the start of what we’re going to do this season.

“It enables you, as well, to get a lot of work done on how we’re going to play, whether it’s video work or on the training ground because you’re together 24/7 for six days.

“We’re going to use that time as wisely as we can on how we’re going to play this season and what’s expected to take them forward.”

Follow up-dates and news from the camp all week via Burnley’s official media channels.

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