TWO more of the Clarets’ young prospects have secured loan deals with prolific striker Jason Gilchrist and midfielder Luke Gallagher joining Droylsden until the end of their season.
The move to the Blue Square North Club will give the 18-year-olds a first taste of senior football as they approach the end of their two-year scholarship deals at Turf Moor.
Gilchrist is the current top scorer in the Clarets’ youth team after sharing the accolade with Shay McCartan last season and netted a hat-trick at Old Trafford in December as Burnley knocked Manchester United out of the FA Youth Cup.
And Gallagher’s progress in the youth set-up at Burnley has seen him represent the Republic of Ireland at under-19 level.
“They are going there for competitive experience,” said Turf Moor Academy Manager Jason Blake.
“We have a good relationship with Droylsden, who try and play football the right way, and their position in the league means we will be able to observe our players’ performances and temperament and character in a team battling to stay up.
“Both of them have probably exceeded the level of competition in the Youth Alliance but now they will be playing at a competitive level and as well as training part-time with Droylsden will continue their training and development with us.”
The Bloods, struggling in the bottom three of the Conference North and facing play-off chasing Guiseley on Saturday, have previously given loan experience to first-year Clarets professionals Alex Coleman and Adam Evans this season.
And McCartan, Tom Anderson, Joe Jackson and Steve Hewitt have also benefitted from loan moves into the Blue Square with Premier Division sides, Hyde, Barrow and Alfreton Town.
Anderson – who was included on the substitutes’ bench for Burnley’s Championship win at Millwall in January – has made a combined total of 21 starts for Barrow and Hyde.
But his current loan spell at Hyde has been cut short by a knee ligament injury which has seen him return to Gawthorpe for treatment and rehabilitation.
“He has got a knee injury but the good news is it’s not as bad as we first thought,” said manager Sean Dyche.
“There was a worry that it might be a serious one. It’s not, but it will take time. It’s not a week or two. It’s a longer rehabilitation period.”
Hyde have, however, extended the loan stay of McCartan until the end of their season on 20 April as they continue their battle against the drop.