Jack Cork's loan inspiration and his feedback for Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Ian Maatsen, Jordan Beyer, Nathan Tella and Halil Dervisoglu

Jack Cork is an example to any young professional looking to make their way in the game.

The Burnley midfielder did everything he could do to try and fashion a career for himself in football.

The 33-year-old made temporary stops at six different clubs when he was on the books at Premier League side Chelsea.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

AFC Bournemouth, Scunthorpe United, Southampton, Watford, Coventry City and Burnley all benefited from his insatiable drive to succeed.

Burnley's Jack Cork The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Preston North End v Burnley - Tuesday 13th September 2022 - Deepdale - Preston

And during those character-building spells, between 2006 and 2011, he made 155 league appearances across the Premier League, Championship and League One.

"The loan moves were absolutely vital for me because it was everything that helped push my career in the right direction," he said. "I went on loan at 17, when I was at Bournemouth, and that was brilliant and every single move gave me something different, I learned something new.

"I came out of that safe environment, that little bubble, because there was a lot more on the line. There were fans all of a sudden, people booing you, people cheering you, it was completely different.

"It is exciting, nervous, a new challenge and unfamiliar. It is a little bit scary but if you want to make it as a footballer you have to do it as many times as you can to get as many games as you can. For me it is the best way to develop a young player by going out there and getting games."

Burnley's Jack Cork competing with Coventry City's Josh Eccles (left) The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Coventry City v Burnley- Saturday 8th October 2022 - Coventry Building Society Arena - Coventry

The one-time England cap, who will go up against former club Swansea City at Turf Moor, has enjoyed seeing the strides being taken by those loan players that made the decision to join the Clarets this term.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Boss Vincent Kompany made Manchester City starlet Taylor Harwood-Bellis his first capture on loan and the Young Lions skipper was joined by Ian Maatsen (Chelsea), Jordan Beyer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Nathan Tella (Southampton) and Halil Dervisoglu (Brentford).

Now Cork is hoping that his journey can provide the quintet with the inspiration, motivation and encouragement to kick on this term.

After surpassing 500 games since making his debut professional debut for the Cherries — against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium — nearly 16 years ago, Cork said: "They've not come to me personally and asked what it's like; I've had conversations with them about their clubs and, if certain people are still there, how they are, but it's not been a situation where they've wanted advice.

"I would be more than open if they wanted to speak to me about that stuff, I'm sure they'd be comfortable doing it if they wanted. It's more about me setting a good example and showing them that if they want to get to this level they have to be professional and do the right things. That is what I've had to do and they can see that from the outside, rather than them coming to me personally."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cork, whose father, Alan, had a short spell in charge of The Jacks, added: "It has been good to see because sometimes loan players find it hard but some come in with confidence with no fear and nearly all the players have done that. They have all expressed themselves and felt free.

"They are all young lads with bright futures in the game. Hopefully the older lads can help them develop in the right way and if not here then somewhere else.

"It is a good environment, the manager plays the way they want to play at the parent club and hopefully it works out for them.

"They have got to come in and take it on and show they are a big personality and get stuck in with the group. Sometimes you can come in and cast yourselves out but they have all been brilliant so far."