It’s good to be back - Clarets skipper Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton

Clarets captain Tom Heaton says that he’s never felt better as the goalkeeper prepares for a third stint in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old has made 73 appearances in the top flight with Burnley, keeping 20 clean sheets in that stretch, and made the most saves in the division last season with 141 stops.

Tom Heaton started for England last month

Tom Heaton started for England last month

However, the England international declared that he was in even better shape ahead of the first outing of pre-season against League of Ireland Premier Division side Shamrock Rovers at the Tallaght Stadium tonight.

“I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back in and it was a nice start,” he said. “It’s probably the best I’ve felt, coming back in pre-season.

“It never takes you too long to get back in the rhythm and I don’t feel too far away at the moment.”

The former Manchester United stopper didn’t get as long a break as some of his team-mates due to his involvement with the Three Lions.

Heaton played 45 minutes in the international friendly against France last month at the Stade de France. England lost the game 3-2 with Harry Kane grabbing both goals for Gareth Southgate’s men.

“It was a nice summer,” he said. “Obviously, I was delighted to start the game for England and disappointed to lose, but I thoroughly enjoyed the 45 minutes and it ended up being a very good two weeks’ away.

“That two-week international break in the middle, where you are working and have to be on top of your game, helps you.”