Future looks bright – Dyche

Daniel Agyei was signed for the development squad in the summer from AFC Wimbledon
Daniel Agyei was signed for the development squad in the summer from AFC Wimbledon

Clarets boss Sean Dyche feels Burnley’s focus on their development squad is beginning to bear fruit.

At the weekend, chairman Mike Garlick revealed that the club has made plans for an annual budget for the level below the first team, as part of a five-year plan to improve the conveyor belt of talent at Gawthorpe.

It is hoped that the money, a legacy of a second season in the Premier League, will help boost the calibre of promising young players at the club, with a view to breaking into the first team.

While there have been youth products making appearances for the first team over the last few seasons, the last to establish himself at that level was Jay Rodriguez, who scored 41 goals in 128 appearances before a £7m switch to Southampton in summer 2012.

Over the close season, Burnley brought in five development squad signings, AFC Wimbledon striker Daniel Agyei, Shrewsbury Town winger Josh Ginnelly, Derby County midfielder Luke Hendrie, Arsenal midfielder Renny Smith, and Everton right back Arlen Birch, and Garlick admitted: “The club has ring-fenced a sum of money for the next five years, so every year we can add to the Development Squad and bring it up to the quality deemed necessary.

“It is a definite benefit of our legacy of the Premier League season and it’s about quality, rather than quantity because we want to make sure that some of those players progress to the first team.”

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