Burnley FC bucks trend over foreign players

editorial image

Burnley continue to buck the trend in an era where two thirds of Premier League players are foreign.

But Sean Dyche reiterates he doesn’t care where players come from - only whether they are aligned with the squad in terms of ability, availability and character.

In their last three outings, Dyche has fielded entirely British starting line-ups - although that is more through circumstance than choice, with the club’s scouting network only now being beefed up to take in the continent, after appointing Robbie Cooke as UK and International Scout.

The club has a chequered record of bringing in players from overseas - while the likes of Danish keeper Brian Jensen and Icelandic midfielder Joey Gudjonsson played a key role in reaching the Premier League in 2009, they had both played in England before arriving at Turf Moor.

And the less said the better about the likes of Dane Richards, Diego Penny, Remco van der Schaaf, Fernando Guerrero, Frederic Nimani, Besart Berisha and Marco Gentile, the better.

While the FA are eager to increase the number of home-grown players in the Premier League, Burnley’s journey is providing huge encouragement to clubs that English and British players can prosper at this level.

But Dyche isn’t interested in what is on a player’s passport: “There’s a lot made about it but, as a manager, you’re not really bothered where players come from.

“You see beyond all the cultures, colours, and creeds.

“You want good footballers and I’m no different.

“Plenty of teams are doing well without a core of British players, and if players become available who are not from these shores then we’ll certainly look at that.”

But he admits Burnley have a lot of support around the country for what they are achieving: “There are a lot of fans out there who like our journey.

“Loads of people say, “We think it’s great and we want you to stay up”.

“There’s a story beyond the story, which is a smaller club developing players without major resources, British or not. The thing is, they like the story.”