Burnley skipper Ben Mee open to seeing out his playing days at Turf Moor
Ben Mee feels right at home at Burnley and the skipper has revealed that he’s open to seeing out his playing days at Turf Moor.
The 30-year-old centre back made his 305th appearance for the club at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and he isn’t done yet.
The former Manchester City defender, who originally signed on loan in the summer of 2011, is under contract for another year-and-a-half, with the option of a further 12 months.
The club’s second-longest serving player after Kevin Long, who took the captain’s armband from Tom Heaton following the England international’s switch to Villa Park, said: “I’ve got a contract for another couple of years or so.
“When I joined I didn’t know how long I was going to stay here for and I’m at the point now where I want to do as much as I can for the club.
“It’s definitely a place where I feel at home, so staying here for the foreseeable future is definitely a good aim.”
Mee, who made his Clarets move permanent in August 2012, just months before Sean Dyche replaced Eddie Howe at the helm, has seen a number of team-mates commit their futures to the club in recent weeks.
Strike pairing Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood both renewed terms last month, committing until 2022 and 2023 respectively, while full back Charlie Taylor put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2024.
Mee said: “You sign and you don’t know what’s going to happen, and to see where we are now, from where we were at the time.
“It’s nice to look back on, the progress that’s been made, progress that’s been made through my career, taking a similar path, I guess, to the way this club has moved forward and moved in the right direction, which is nice.
“It’s been great to stay here and enjoy it, and I’ve never had any reason to look anywhere else, because we’ve been doing something and progressing every year. I’ve been playing a lot of football, which also helps.
“A lot of people are settled here and really feel at home. That’s created by the culture of the place and the growth within the club as well.
“Everyone is excited about where the club is going, it’s grown massive amounts in the past few years and it’s good to be around a club that is doing that. It excites everyone and we all feel a part of where it’s going.
“It’s an honour to captain this group; we’ve got a good amount of players now who are reaching that peak stage of their career.
“We feel like we’re in a good place, training is always really good, it’s sharp, and there’s certainly a sense that we’re hitting our peak.”
Mee, who played under former England boss Sven Goran Erikssen at the King Power Stadium, represented the Three Lions’ youth teams from under 19 to under 21 level.
However, he’s still awaiting that elusive call from senior head coach Gareth Southgate. Burnley boss Sean Dyche likened his skipper to former Manchester United centre half Steve Bruce, who also retired uncapped for his country.
Mee, though, is now at ease with the situation and admits that he’ll have no sense of regret if the opportunity doesn’t present itself.
“It was a big thing for the gaffer to say that, because Steve Bruce played for a top, top club who were winning titles,” said Mee.
“I see myself just trying to do my best really. I wanted to play for England, I wanted to do all that, play in the Premier League and do everything.
“I look at myself and I’m doing everything I can, so that’s all I can do, really. To be in that bracket, playing a lot of Premier League football and not get a chance to play for England, I don’t know...I’m fine with it. I’m enjoying my football, and that’s all you want to do.”
He added: “I don’t think I’ll have any regrets because I think if you look back on it and you think ‘I didn’t do enough’ [then maybe], but I feel like I’m playing well, I’m doing well and if it doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen.
“For me, I want to do it, I’ve always wanted to do it, and I’d love to do it in the future, but it’s up to the person in charge.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, play how I’m playing and if that fits the way he wants to play or whatever, it’s completely fine.”