Sean Dyche's appearance on The High Performance podcast helped lay the groundwork for midfielder's Turf move!

Sean Dyche had inadvertently done the groundwork for Dale Stephens' move to Turf Moor, long before the former Brighton midfielder had put pen to paper.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 7:30 am
Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley reacts during the Premier League match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor on September 26, 2020 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Unbeknown to the Burnley boss, the 31-year-old had tuned into an episode of The High Performance podcast with host Jake Humphrey weeks before the club made an official approach.

Dyche, who had also been joined by author and professor Damian Hughes inside The Arthur Bellamy Media Centre, was the main guest on the final episode of the series.

Stephens, who had been heading towards seven years with the Seagulls, was one of tens of thousands of listeners and found himself nodding along in agreement to everything his future 'gaffer' had to say.

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Sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey, who hosts The High Performance podcast.

"I listened to a podcast out of the blue and he was on it," said Stephens. "It was The High Performance podcast [with Jake Humphrey] and I listened to it without even knowing that I had a chance of joining Burnley.

"Everything he said in that hit home in the way that I was brought up in the game as a youth team player.

"It was three or four weeks before Burnley wanted to sign me. It resonated with me, but I haven't told him that I had listened to it yet."

And, as a consequence, the Bolton-born middle man didn't need much convincing once Burnley had made their interest known.

Newcastle United's Irish midfielder Jeff Hendrick is tackled by Burnley's English defender James Tarkowski (back) and Dale Stephens (2nd L) during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 3, 2020. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP).

He said: "The move came round and I managed to sit down and speak with him for half-an-hour on the day that I signed and all that he said to me really made sense.

"We sat in a hotel and spoke about what he expects. He's straight upfront, there are no misinterpretations about what he wants from all of his players.

"I felt that I could work underneath him and that he could help me get the best out of myself.

"It's quite self-explanatory because he's a similar sort of character to me; no bells and whistles, he says it how it is, there's no miscommunication.

"That's exactly what I want from a manager at my age. I think the conversation went well and I was excited from there."