Burnley FC A homegrown Challenge


Jan 26, 2017
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Burnley Football Club is a professional football club based in Burnley, Lancashire, England. Founded on 18 May 1882, the team originally played only friendly matches until they entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1885–86. The club currently plays in the Premier League, the first tier of English football. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888. The club's emblem is based on the town's crest, with a Latin motto Pretiumque et Causa Laboris ("The Prize and the Cause of Our Labour").


Burnley have been champions of England twice, in 1920–21 and 1959–60, have won the FA Cup once, in 1914, and have won the Community Shield twice, in 1960 and 1973. The Clarets also reached the 1961 quarter-finals of the European Cup. They are one of only five teams to have won all top four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.
In the 1920–21 campaign, Burnley were crowned champions of England for the first time when they won the First Division. During that season the team embarked on a 30-match unbeaten run, which remained an English record until it was beaten by Nottingham Forest in the late 1970s. Burnley attained a second league championship in 1959–60 with a team consisting of mostly youth academy graduates, winning the title with a last-day victory over Manchester City, after foundations were laid by pioneers Alan Brown, Bob Lordand Harry Potts.

Just twenty years later, in 1979–80, Burnley were relegated to the Third Division — the first time in their history they had played in the third tier of English football. Five years later, the team competed in the Fourth Division for the first time following another relegation, and on 9 May 1987 only a 2–1 home win against Orient saved Burnley from relegation to the Football Conference and a possible dissolution. Burnley won promotion in 1991–92 to the third tier and again in 1999–2000 to the second tier, before being promoted to the Premier League in 2008–09, 2013–14 and 2015–16.
Burnley have played home games at Turf Moor since 17 February 1883, after the club had moved from their original premises at Calder Vale. The club colours of claret and blue were adopted prior to the 1910–11 season in tribute to the dominant club of English football at the time, Aston Villa.

I'm putting one restriction in place for this save and it will be that Burnley have to make it to the top with only signing British and Irish players unless they come through our youth academy so it might take a while and it will mean we have to put a large emphasis on our youth and try and set up good links as well.

Squad Overview


In my opinion we have a pretty decent squad and more importantly its has an excellent core of British and Irish players which helps with my main target. We have two very exciting players though that will have key roles to play over the coming season.

First up is Ben Gibson who at 25 has the potential to be at the heart of the clubs defence for years to come and will hopefully for a key partnership with Tarkowski. He still has the potential to break into the England squad as well with a few good performances this season.


The next key player who I hope will stay at the club for the majority of his career is Dwight McNeil who at 18 has an unreal amount of potential and can make the left wing his own for club and country. At the moment he will be the one player who we will look to build the team around.


I don't think there are too many area's we will look to improve in the squad from the start but we will have a look to see who is available. There are a few players who players who will will be looking to offload as well to try and slim the squad down or make way for new and younger players.

Burnley were relegated in my first season on my Everton save, but in season 2 Dwight McNeil is tearing it up in the Championship!! Looks like he only recently came into the team but has 2 goals and 6 assists in 14 games, with an average rating of 7.12!
Burnley were relegated in my first season on my Everton save, but in season 2 Dwight McNeil is tearing it up in the Championship!! Looks like he only recently came into the team but has 2 goals and 6 assists in 14 games, with an average rating of 7.12!

I'm hoping to make him a key player first season as there aren't any other left wingers available that I think will be better than him and want him to get the game time
Transfers and Preseason


We had a number of players leave the club over the course of preseason. Not all of them were planned but when other players became available then there was no sense in keeping them at the club. Out of the 5 players that left 4 of them were British players but there was going to be no place for them at the club.


Barnes is probably the biggest loss but was never going to be a key player and when the offer came in it made sense to cash in on him just now.

Transfers In

The first player to join the club is one of the hottest left backs in the British Isles as we pay a whopping £23,000,000 million up front with a further £3,750,000 over 3 years to secure Kieran Tierney from Celtic. He will hopefully be at the club for years to come and form a formidable partnership down the left with McNeil.

Next in is a young right winger who has a the potential to become a key player again for club and country and is currently only 17. We sign Jack Clarke from Leeds for £5,750,000. He will play a part this season with coming off the bench or starting in cup games.

Next is a wee bit of a gamble but has the potential to become a good player and at the worse will be a very useful squad player after a few seasons. We sign Harry Cochrane from Hearts for £100,000.


Dael Fry is the next player to come from Middlesbrough for £10,000,000 as I noticed Crystal Palace had bid for him so decided to match it. After a bit of scouting him he has the potential to become a key player over the next 10 seasons and will hopefully link up well with former team mate Ben Gibson.


Finally we needed another left back to play backup to Tierney after Taylor threw his toys out the pram for Tierney joining. So we splashed the cash a bit to get somebody who can step in comfortably for Tierney when called upon. We welcome Josh Tymon from Stoke for £20,000,000.


One final piece of business was to bring in Dominic Calvert-Lewin in on loan from Everton for the season.



I made sure we had a busy preseason to ensure that when we brought in new players they had plenty of time to get use to my tactics and their new team mates. We did extremely well with just having the one blip but other than that we won every other game.



Tactic and preferred XI

I'm looking to play a 4-4-2 here with a defensive midfielder to try and help out the defence when needed.




A rather quiet month at the moment but that will all change if we progress through the Europa League Qualifiers.

Europa League Best Placed 2nd Qualifying round 1st Leg
Trencin v Burnley


A good start to our qualifying campaign as we try ad get our strongest XI out, McNeil has a debut to remember with getting the final goal of the match.

Europa League Best Placed 2nd Qualifying round 2nd Leg
Burnley v


We take it easy here and rotate the squad to give other people a run out but its McNeil who is the standout player again. This see's us set up a battle of Britain and we get Aberdeen in the next round.

Europa League Best Placed 3rd Qualifying round 1st Leg
Burnley v Aberdeen


McNeil is on fire at the moment as the young winger opens the scoring for his 3rd goal in 3 games. I feel we could of done more after Aberdeen went down to 10 men but we do enough to take a commanding lead into the second round.

Burnley v Manchester United


Not how we wanted to start the season but it could have been a lot worse. A narrow defeat against a team the size of Manchester United shows we have what it takes to stay up this season hopefully.

Europa League Best Placed 3rd Qualifying round 2nd Leg
Aberdeen v Burnley


We really get made to fight for this victory as Aberdeen take full advantage of the sending off but thankfully we have McNeil in our side as he bags another 2 goals.

Fulham v


A terrible game as we really need to be winning the games against the teams who we will be in a relegation battle with but we get our first point with keeping a clean sheet so its not all bad.

Europa League Best Placed 4th Qualifying round 1st Leg
Burnley v Sparta Prague


Clarke gets his first goal of the club which is good to see our emphasis on youth paying off. It was disappointing to concede a goal and we will need to be wary of the away goal in the return leg.

Wolves v


Another disappointing match with the only positive being that we have kept another clean sheet in the league.

Europa League Best Placed 4th Qualifying round 2nd Leg
Sparta Prague v


A much better match here as we run out comfortable winners and it was great to see McNeil get back on the score sheet along with Clark. We have Qualified for the Europa League group stages so lets see how far we can go.



Europa League


An ok group stage here as I feel we should be able to get out of this group with second spot being the most likely.



A tough month here as who really wants a month where you face Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool along with Sevilla in the Europa League.

Burnley v Tottenham


What a game to seal our first win as McNeil gets us back into the game before Guomundsson scores a wonder goal with 8 minutes to left on the clock. We did get lucky though as Spurs had a goal chopped of just before half time.

Burnley v Arsenal


We can't beat Wolves or Fulham but we can beat two of the best teams in the league. Woods played a blinder today and did really well to get us back into the game before his second was the winner.

Europa League Group I
Burnley v Sevilla


I expected this to be one of our hardest game of the group stage and its safe to say Sevilla underestimated us as Cork made a great run forward before slotting home from 5 yards out to get a rare goal for the defensive midfielder.

Bournemouth v


And we are brought back down to earth with a bang as we get played off the park here and just couldn't cope at all.

Carabao Cup Third Round
Burnley v Brighton


We rotate here to give other players a run out and give a few of the guys a rest and its a tough match against Brighton but Defour takes a rare start and stakes a claim to getting in the starting XI more often as he see's us into the next round.

Liverpool v Burnley


The gulf in class here really showed in the second half as we looked good value going in at half time





Europa League Group I
AA Gent v Burnley


A great second match as we cement our place as contenders for getting out the group stage as McNeil just can't stop scoring just now.

Burnley v Leicester


Two quick goals and a clean sheet to get a great win against a good team and yet again McNeil gets on the score sheet. Its great having a left winger as your top scorer.

Southampton v Burnley


A bit of a tough draw to take as even though we went behind twice we were actually the better team and two daft mistakes led to the goals

Europa League Group I
Burnley v Sigma Olomouc


Jeff Hendrick to the rescue as we were very lucky to get the draw as Sigma battered us for most of the first half and should of got at least one goal.

Burnley v West Ham


A very lucky result here as we rely on an own goal. A draw would of probably been a fair result here.

Carabao Cup 4th Round
Burnley v Southampton


A disappointing result here but it lets us concentrate on other fronts as saves an extra game being thrown in.





Chelsea v Burnley


The gulf in class is just too much here but we could really of done without conceding in the second minute as after that the heads went down and we just couldn't get back into the game.

Europa League Group I
Sigma Olomouc v


We scrape through here thanks to a very lucky penalty which was probably a bit soft but it got us the three points and that's all that matters. Whats more important though is this win see's us guarantee qualification out of the group.

Burnley v Brighton


A good win here to bounce back from the defeat to Chelsea as Vydra is taking his chance now he's been given a run of games and scores a fantastic brace.

Huddersfield v


A game that really let us show what we can do as we demolish the bottom placed team in the league.

Europa League Group I
Sevilla v Burnley


This is what I expected to be the toughest match of the group stage and Sevilla just can't handle us at all. The two goals in the opening 10 minutes was exactly what we needed here as after that Sevilla were completely out of the game before getting their consolation goal in the final minute.






Burnley v Everton


A pretty boring game here as both teams had limited chances and two goals in the first half cancelled each other out and the second half was one of the most boring in football.

Newcastle v


A disappointing game as we came out after half time the slower team and after Newcastle's early goal we just couldn't get back into the game as the heads went down and they took advantage to get the second.

Burnley v Manchester City


A match that really flattered us here an Man City really couldn't take full advantage of playing against ten men for 89 minutes. Want to say if we kept 11 men on the park there is no way we would of only lost by 1 goal.

Europa League Group I
Burnley v AA Gent


Vydra has his game of the season so far with an excellent hat-trick to give us a 100% record through the group stages.

Watford v Burnley


Vydra continued on from where he left off with getting us off to a flying start that lasted a full 3 minutes. Lennon getting sent off was a bit loss at 1-1 and Watford were able to take full advantage and put the game to bed before we grabbed our second.

Manchester United v


Its not often that a 3-1 loss is a flattering result but Rashford had a further goals cut off for being offside so it could of been a **** of a lot worse.

Cardiff v


We finally collect our first win in 6 games in the league and it was welcome as it shows we belong and hopefully helps the players out of their slump.

Burnley v Crystal Palace


A win here that was actually disappointing which can't be said much when you win but we couldn't take advantage at all in the final half hour when they went down to 9 men and it was a nervy half hour waiting for the final whistle.

New Contract


I'm offered a new contract which i jump at as it came while we were in our slump and I wanted to make sure the boards arm couldn't be twisted to get rid of me.





Transfers Out

We do a fair bit of business this window with getting id of a fair few players who were unhappy with game time and never going to break into the first team so we were happy to cash in on them as we bring in just under £80 million in transfer fees which will help us bring in some well needed quality

We still have a couple of players in the squad though who we couldn't get rid of such as Joe Hart and Nick Pope. I would of even been willing to get rid of Heaton but nobody wanted him either.

Transfers In

We go all out in this window tying to get players in who will improve the squad and give us a different option as well.
First in is Kasey Palmer from Chelsea for £2,000,000. For that price I had to grab him up as I expect big things from him in the future.

Next in is an extremely versatile midfielder and can either play down the middle or down the left. We welcome Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £11,000,000


We then look to get some help in for Matt Lowton at RB and we manage to snap up Max Aarons from Norwich City for £9,750,000 and he has a bright future at the club.


Jordan Storey was transfer listed by Preston for £240,000 so he comes in to replace Ben Mee and will be a decent back up.


Rabbi Matondo comes in from Schalke 04 for £9,000,000 and will provide competition down the right wing for Jack Clarke and will hopefully develop well at the club with plenty of game time.


Finally comes in our marquee signing on transfer deadline day like any big transfer should. We manage to tempt Will Hughes away from Derby for £40,000,000. He has the ability to run our midfield and the national teams for years to come since he is only 23.


Burnley v Fulham


We play out a pretty boring match with neither team having a lot of chances but Chris Wood is the hero as he grabs the only goal of the game to ensure we don't play out a goalless draw with Fulham again

FA cup 3rd Round
Barnsley v Burnley


We rotate the squad here totry and give some other players a run out and it really back fires as we struggle to beat Barnsley but luckily Vydra comes off the bench with 15 minutes to go and manages to tuck home from 6 yards out to see us through to the 4th round where we will meet Cardiff.

Burnley v Wolves


A much better match here as we start to integrate our new signings and Grealish makes an instant impact as he grabs his first goal for the club on his debut.

Tottenham v


We were unable to replicate our great victory from the last time we played them as Spurs run out comfortable winners

FA Cup 4th Round
Cardiff v Burnley


A fantastic result and what a game for young Dwight McNeil gets his first senior Hat trick for the club which is even more impressive considering it was from the left wing.

Arsenal v


The final 20 minutes was where it started to get exciting as we both scored within 7 minutes of each other but this was probably a fair result as apart from the goals neither team had any standout chances.





Burnley v Bournemouth


Wilson proved to be the difference here today a he converted the best chance of the game early on as after that we never threatened at all.

Burnley v Liverpool


This is actually quite a good result in my book as I was expecting to get beaten by two or three goals here.

Europa League 1st Knockout Round 1st Leg
Atalanta v


A much better result against Atalanta here as we manage to get two away goals here to keep the tie wide open going into the return leg. Was a wee bit gutting that we couldn't hold onto the win here though.

FA Cup 5th Round
Manchester United v


And we go crashing out of the FA Cup. Man Utd were the much better team here and even had a couple of goals ruled out for offside again so yet again the scoreline actually flatters us here.

Europa League 1st Knockout Round 2nd Leg
Burnley v Atalanta


Chris Wood seems to be our most consistent player at the moment as he grabs yet another goal here and along with the two goals from the first leg it is enough to see us through to the next round.

Leicester v Burnley


Wow this really was a game of two halves for us here. We grab two goals in the opening 7 minutes and looked great value going in at half time. Not sure what happened here as we self implode and through away our lead as we concede 3 goals in the second half.

Burnley v Southampton


We finally win a game for the first time since 12th January. Chris Wood had an excellent game as he grabs a great brace from two headers. Jack Cork also scored a rare goal from 20 yards out for his first goal of the season.





West Ham v Burnley


A boring game here but at least we walk away with a point.

Europa League 2nd Knockout Round 1st Leg
Burnley v Red Bull Leipzig


A good game here but again we just can't hold on that extra few minutes to get the all important win and we now travel to Germany after conceding the away goal.

Burnley v Chelsea


With this game coming in the middle of the European games we rotate here to make sure everybody is fit for the 2nd leg and it costs us here.

Europa League 2nd Knockout Round 2nd Leg
Red Bull Leipzig v Burnley


Well the gulf in class really shows here with the team currently third in the Bundesliga as they absolutely destroy us in every area of the park and we go crashing out of the competition.

Brighton v


Chris Wood to the rescue yet again. We are becoming far too reliant on Wood just now so its certainly something we will need to address in the off season.

Burnley v Huddersfield


A much better result here as Nketiah on loan from Arsenal really steps up when given his chance and scores the perfect Hat-trick here.

Youth Intake

March brings one of the best parts of the season with the youth intake and we do ok with 3 players looking they might make it but here I will only focus on our best two.

First is Darnell Pawley who is an old school centre back who looks like who could go straight to the top. With a personality of fairly ambitious then there is no reason why he can't get there


Next is Tom Wlmsley who is a pressing forward who again thanks to his ambitious personality could work his way through the ranks to the top of English football.






Everton v Burnley


I'm reasonably pleased with this result as even though its 2 points dropped its not a loss and that's all that's important at this time of the season.

Burnley v Newcastle


A poor result here as I really felt like we should of been taking at least a point here but sadly Schar's rising header in the first half was enough to give Newcastle all 3 points.

Man City v


Well what a game. I fully expected us to get hammered by close to double figures here after being 3-0 down in the opening 8 minutes before going in at half time 4-0 down. After an absolute bollocking at half time where the odd water bottle was kicked we come out after half time and show what we can do and get it back to a very respectable scoreline.

Burnley v Watford


This was a poor result again as we even struggled against 10 men and it was a shame to concede with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.

Crystal Palace v


A much better result as we get our first win in 5 games which eases a bit of pressure on us. Was great to see McNeil getting back on the score sheet. Especially since it was the winning goal with the final kick of the ball.

Burnley v Cardiff


A game that I thought was going to be a lot more comfortable. McNeil comes to the rescue again right at the death to get us the 3 points.


End of Season Review


We perform well above expectations in our first season with me in charge as we finish 8th in the league just behind the qualification spots for Europe. Shows what we can do with an average team so once we strengthen the team correctly we could be a real force in the league. We over performed in all of the cups as well so hopefully we can push on and progress more next season.

The board have been extremely kind and given me £52 million to spend on transfers along with £1.2 million to spend in wages.



The awards are bang on and I wouldn't expect anything different. Wood was exceptional this season scoring 18 goals in 36 league games for us and scored important goals for us.

Tierney grabs the signing of the season and he was one of our most consistent players this season and is now wanted by a host of top European teams.

Dwight McNeil grabs the young player of the season which is well deserved as he instantly became a key player for the team n his debut season.



We do very well commercially with even bringing in a new sponsor even if it isn't the greatest at the moment but it all helps.

It will be interesting to see who we can attract to the club next season along with how we perform. What I can say is there will be a fair few players leaving the club.
Transfers and Preseason

So just a reminder that the one and only challenge I have set my self for the save is to only sign people from the the United Kingdom and Ireland.


We've decided to let a fair number of people go this transfer window to allow us to bring in the players that will improve the squad for the long term. Three of the people that left were key players but with the offers we got for 2 of them were far too good to turn down. With Wood and Cork going for a combined £30,000,000 and £20,000,000 it meant we could bring in some players that could get us into the European spots. Fianlly Tom Heaton leaves to join Stoke. He was a rock this season but he has now been replaced and he deserves to be better than second choice at the club.



First in is a deal we completed before last season had finished and he is going to be a key player for us from the off. We welcome Jack Butland to the club from Stoke for £15,000,000 which in my eyes is a bargain for an England international


Next in is Declan Rice from West Ham with which we paid £40,000,000 up front with another £20,000,000 over the next 3 seasons so we smashed the transfer record for the club. He again will walk into the starting XI and will be one of the players we build the team around.


Next in is another player who can hopefully take us to another level as we sign Callum Wilson from Bournemouth for £40,000,000. Again its a lot of money but we are paying a premium since he's English.


Since we decided to sell Lowton we then needed to bring in another RB and I wanted to bring in somebody who would challenge Aarons for that position so we snapped up a transfer listed Calum Chambers from Arsenal for £11,250,000


Our next signing was transfer listed as well by Chelsea and he can run our midfield for the next few years as we sign Ross Barkley from Chelsea for £26,000,000


Since we sold Heaton I wanted a young keeper that has room to develop and can play in some cup games so we looked at the transfer list and found Freddie Woodman from Newcastle for £375,000


Finally this signing was completely by chance as I was browsing the transfer list yet again seeing if there were any bargains on Transfer deadline day and we came across Rhian Brewster from Liverpool who was listed with an asking price of £0 so we snapped him up as he has bags of potential and is only 19.


We also bring in two players on loan. Calvert-Lewin returns from Everton to provide support for Wilson but we also manage to win the race to bring in Phil Foden from Manchester City for the season.

Transfer Roundup




We have an excellent preseason with only one blip against Freiburg but we go unbeaten against the rest of them with us even winning one of the matches 19-0.



Season Tickets


We only have slight increase in season tickets which is mainly due to our limitation of the size of our stadium which the board have also decided to increase for us by 2,300 seats




Some great signings there mate! Looking forward to seeing how you get on in your second season!
Some great signings there mate! Looking forward to seeing how you get on in your second season!

Cheers mate, its a real struggle trying to bring players in without paying a premium and will no doubt get worse after Brexit
Cheers mate, its a real struggle trying to bring players in without paying a premium and will no doubt get worse after Brexit

I found the same thing with my Everton save mate. The price of English players between clubs has become ridiculous with stupid fees having to be paid for pretty average players! Hoping I won't experience such an issue with my Stuttgart save!

Preferred Starting XI

So for the season ahead this is my preferred starting XI. I plan on rotating Foden and Barkley though so that Hughes continues to get games as him and Rice will be my CM's for the foreseeable future. My team is pretty much as I want it now and all the key players hail from United Kingdom now so its going to be hard to improve them so will be key to sign new players up early going forward.


Southampton v Burnley


With Rice banned for 3 games we start Defour in the DM role and he proves to be the difference with slotting home from the penalty spot.

Burnley v Newcastle


We absolutely batter Newcastle here but we just struggle to score again. But Clarke makes a cracking run off the right wing and unleashes from 30 yards out to score a screamer to get us the 3 points.

Arsenal v Burnley


Probably a fair result here as we just couldn't take our chances at all when given them and we were lucky that Arsenal had a goal ruled out for offside as well after 20 minutes.

Carabao Cup 2nd Round
Burnley v Brentford


Finally a much better performance from the squad even if we do rotate 90% of the starting XI for this game. Got to say after conceding a penalty after 2 minutes I was worried we could be going out at the first hurdle but Brewster got us back into the game instantly with a well timed run before slotting home. It looked like the game could of been going to extra time but Palmer score in the second minute of added time before Wilson grabs his first goal for the club with the final kick of the ball.

Burnley v Everton


Foden showing why we brought him in on loan with firing us 2-0 up in the opening 20 minutes. McNeil showing that he isn't going to be shown up by a loan signing gets in on the action before Barkley rounds of the scoring right at the death against his former club.