New signing shines on Turf Moor debut

Despite having to borrow some boots, Tendayi Darikwa got his Burnley career on the right footing.

Tendeyi Darikwa - Burnley 2, Bradford City 0 - Turf Moor, August 1st 2015
Tendeyi Darikwa - Burnley 2, Bradford City 0 - Turf Moor, August 1st 2015

The 23-year-old signed for the Clarets on Thursday from Chesterfield for a fee in the region of £600,000, but had travelled north without his boots.

He trained in a borrowed pair on Friday, before going back for his favourite pair, and he impressed on his debut against Bradford City at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Darikwa said: “I trained on Friday for the first time and I didn’t have my boots!

Tendeyi Darikwa shields the ball. Photo @kelvinstuttard

“The first session could have gone horribly wrong but I borrowed some – they weren’t too bad, they were some brand new adidas ones!

“I’m just grateful to the club for looking after me the way they have. Thankfully I managed to get back home and get my stuff and played on Saturday, which I’m pleased about. It happened very quickly. I came up on Wednesday evening, the manager had a few meetings on Thursday, so I was in the town for a while but I got the deal over the line on Thursday night and trained on Friday.”

Darikwa, once a target for David Moyes at Manchester United, was an instant hit with the Burnley fans, composed in possession, linking well with George Boyd down the right, and putting over a string of inviting crosses, and he smiled: “I loved it. It was my first time playing at the stadium but the fans gave me a warm welcome and I’m grateful for that.”

Burnley beat Lancashire rivals Preston North End to his signature, but Darikwa admitted: “I don’t want to talk about other clubs.

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“I’m happy to be at the football club now and the club have given me the opportunity to play in the Championship and hopefully I can repay that with some more performances like Saturday.

“After speaking to the manager and the board members it was a no-brainer to try to help the club get back to the Premier League. I think that’s where we belong.

“I’ve plied my trade in League Two and League One and I feel like I’m ready for the step up. But obviously I’ve a lot to learn.

“Hopefully the management staff and the players can help me improve quickly and hopefully I can play in the team.

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“There are some experienced players and a lot of the squad we’ve got now played in the Premier League last season so I’m sure I’ll learn very quickly and break into the team as soon as possible.”