Left-back Finlay Armstrong has featured in all four of Burnley’s Clarets Cup games this season and the former Liverpool youngster admits the U17’s competition has really taken off this year.
The Clarets Cup is a mini competition which 12 teams currently take part in, where two groups of sixes are split in to two separate groups, designed for first-year scholars, U16 players and second year-scholars that are not having much game time.
Each team must play each other once in a group fixture, before the final league table standings are then resulted into knockout matches.
And Armstrong stated the tournament is being talked about more this season, than ever before and the players involved are in it to win it.
“It’s taken off massively this year, it’s good for everyone involved, especially us first-year scholars who aren’t always getting game time on the Saturday for youth team.
“It gives competitive game time to everyone, this year it seems to have just taken off really well and the lads are all eager to take part in it as well as winning it.” Said Armstrong.
John Townson’s side ran out 3-1 winners on Tuesday afternoon at the Barnfield Training Centre, thanks to goals from U16 duo Michael Mellon and Joe Smyth-Ferguson, with an own goal to round the scoring off.
And the win all but secured Burnley a top-four finish in the group, with the quarterfinals on the horizon.
The 17-year old said: “I thought Tuesday’s game went really well for us, we started a bit slow, as they were playing into the wind.
“So, they could play out from the back a little bit more and the wind played it’s part as well.
“But after the first 15/20 minutes we then got going and from then on it was a great team performance to all but secure our place in the knock-out stages.”
Armstrong is competing for the left-back spot in the youth team with second-year scholar Matty Rain and as the youngster saw limited game-time, he was offered the chance to experience ‘men’s’ football at Padiham on a short-term basis.
And Armstrong confessed it has been a great move for himself and has learnt a lot since joining the Storks on loan.
“I have been made up with it, it has been a great experience for me.
“The lads at Padiham have really welcomed me into the group, they’re a great group to be a round and I’m always learning.
“It has been really good for myself to be getting game time and playing men’s football and I feel like I have done well in the three games I have played in.”
“Sometimes you can be a bit down in the dumps if you aren’t playing regular football, so for me to be out on loan as well as competing in the Clarets Cup during the week it’s a great benefit all round.
“I have seen a massive change in myself, not just on the pitch but off as well I feel more upbeat and I am really enjoying my football again, whilst experiencing men’s football.” Said the full-back.