Josh Cullen opens up on Burnley title triumph, awards & Ireland's upcoming qualifiers
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The 27-year-old enjoyed a campaign to remember for Burnley, making 50 appearances in all competitions as Vincent Kompany’s men stormed to the Championship title.
It more than justified the midfielder’s decision to make the move to Turf Moor from Belgian outfit Anderlecht, where he had enjoyed two seasons.
“It’s been good,” he said. “We probably couldn’t have asked for it to go much better to be honest.
“I made the move back from Belgium, from Anderlecht to Burnley, and at the first time of asking we’ve got promoted to the Premier League which was obviously the main objective for the club at the start of the season.
“To do that and play a lot of games and enjoy my football, it’s been a really good season.”
While the season was a huge success for Burnley, amassing 101 points on their way to the league title, it was also a campaign to remember for Cullen on a personal level.
The Republic of Ireland international picked up two big trophies at the club’s end-of-season awards, voted the club’s players’ player of the season as well as the fans’ player of the season.
“It’s always nice (to get that recognition),” Cullen added.
“You put in a lot of hard work over the course of a season, make a lot of sacrifices and you train every day to be able to perform on a Saturday or whenever the game may be, so to get the recognition from the fans and your fellow teammates and professionals was really nice.
“It was a nice honour for me so it was a good way to end a fantastic season for the club.”
While many of his Burnley teammates are enjoying a well-earned break, Cullen is currently down in Bristol training with his Ireland teammates.
Stephen Kenny has arranged a four-day camp to prepare for their upcoming Euro qualifiers against Greece and Gibraltar, which take place on June 16 and 19 respectively.
The Irish will be keen to bounce back after suffering a harsh 1-0 defeat to France in their opening group game.
“It was disappointing because we go into every game wanting to win, so to come away – having given a good account of ourselves and their keeper making two fantastic saves at the death to deny us the result we probably deserved – there was natural disappointment initially,” he told the Republic of Ireland’s YouTube channel.
“But now we’ve had time to reflect, we can take positives that we played a team that has just narrowly lost the World Cup final and we ran them really close.
“We know if we can keep those standards and keep building throughout the campaign we can give ourselves a great chance of qualifying.”
Ireland have yet to formally announce their final squad for their June double header, but Cullen is widely expected to be part of it.
Michael Obafemi, whose loan move from Swansea City is expected to be made permanent this summer, could also feature.