Birthday boy Phil Bardsley is celebrating the chance to extend his prolific top-flight career at Turf Moor.
Bardsley – who chalked up his 35th birthday the day before the Clarets’ Monday night trip to Crystal Palace – has signed a new 12-month deal at Burnley.
That will take the defender into a fourth season with the Clarets and with top-flight football all but assured for Sean Dyche’s men in 2020/21, Bardsley will operate at the top level for a 16th successive campaign.
“It took a little bit of time to get sorted but I’m delighted with the outcome of it,” said Bardsley, whose existing deal was due to expire at the end of June.
“I was always committed to staying. I made my feelings clear a long time ago I’d like to continue at Burnley and thankfully that’s happened.
“I believe I’ve got loads left in the tank and to play at this level for another year is what I wanted to do.
“I’m delighted to be back involved and to have signed a new deal.”
Bardsley, whose previous Premier League experience came with Manchester United, Aston Villa (on loan), Sunderland and Stoke City, has made 53 appearances for the Clarets since arriving from the Potteries in July, 2017.
His top-flight nous and defensive qualities have made him a key part of Dyche’s squad in competition with Matt Lowton for the right-back role.
Bardsley played a prominent role in the Clarets’ surge up the table before the league’s suspension around the Covid-19 pandemic before missing the beginning of the resumption while in contract limbo.
But the Scotland international returned to the matchday squad for last Thursday night’s 1-0 win over Watford - a result that lifted the Clarets up to 42 points and seemingly guaranteeing their safety.
And Bardsley hopes achieving that target again can now provide the platform for another landmark finish at Turf Moor as he prepares for Monday evening’s trip to Selhurst Park to face a Palace side ahead of the 11th-placed Clarets only on goal difference.
“We are short of bodies at the minute, which is difficult, but thankfully for us we’ve got enough points on the board to be able to play with that freedom,” he added.
“Once you get to that stage and you do play with freedom you pick up points naturally.
“And if we could do that over the remaining games and finish in that top 10 it would be brilliant.”
Read an extended interview with Phil in the matchday programme for next Sunday’s fixture against Sheffield United, which will be available to buy ONLINE from mid-week and in the Clarets Store at Turf Moor.