Football: Burnley kicks off development programme

Burnley head of youth for Australasia Paul Wozny talks with (from left) Oliver Colloty (9),...
Burnley head of youth for Australasia Paul Wozny talks with (from left) Oliver Colloty (9), Jackson Cole (6) and Aidan Broome (7) at Sunnyvale yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.

A little of northwest England arrived in Green Island last night.

The Burnley Football Club held its first trial at Sunnyvale as part of a development programme it is looking to start in New Zealand.

The club, in 10th position in the Championship, the tier below the Premier League, is looking to grow its Australasian coaching programme and is setting up three centres in the South Island.

Burnley Football Club head of youth for Australasia Paul Wozny said there were two goals for the new programmes.

''We can create a bit of brand awareness for the Burnley Football Club and, hopefully, we should be able to find a few players for the future,'' he said.

''We have got 500 players involved in Australia throughout five centres which we believe is a unique programme.''

Burnley had 15 fulltime staff working in the Australasian programme and three fulltime coaches would be based in New Zealand when the centres got up and running. One centre was likely to be based in Dunedin with the other two in Canterbury.

Wozny said Burnley had traditionally relied on local talent for its teams but that had dried up in the past 20 years.

He said players in New Zealand and Australia did not get the same level of intensity as football in Europe so they would try to create that environment in their centres.

They were keen to work with clubs, schools, federations and associations and have individual programmes for players.

''A lot of the big clubs, the Manchester Uniteds, the Arsenals, they do promotion trips to Asia and Australasia but they do not stay. Here players can learn the Burnley way.''

Former Mosgiel forward Cameron Howieson was now playing at Burnley and had trained with the first team this week.

Wozny said the success of Howieson had helped open up communications over the past 12 months.

The trial last night was for children aged under 12 while those aged up to 16 would be on tonight, again at Sunnyvale.

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