clarets90, 10th July 2004: BURNLEY HIRE NEW MANAGER
Only two days after the departure of Steve Cotterill, Burnley FC have found a new manager: Helginho has reportedly signed a two-year-contract with the Lancashire club. The 36-year-old led Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Premier League, but left the club at Christmas 2003. His first job in management was at Wycombe Wanderers who he led from the Fourth to the Third Division by winning promotion.
My predecessor Steve Cotterill has tried to stabilise our defense before the end of the season and he was right after conceding almost 160 goals in the last 2 seasons.
That's why our No 1 from last year Brian Jensen will get some serious competition with Danny Coyne. Coyne is regularly part of the Wales team and was with Grimsby Town for a long time before having an unlucky spiell at Leicester City.
For the defence, Frank Sinclair (Leicester), John McGreal (Ipswich) and Michael Duff (Cheltenham) are signed, they have an added experience of over 1000 games in football.
18-year-old Gary Cahill (Aston Villa) who is predicted a great future, joins Burnley on a season long loan. To complete the list of our defenders, Mo Camara, Paul Scott and Lee Roche will be around again as they already wore the Claret & Blue last season.
In midfield the free transfer from West Brom James O'Connor will hopefully run the show. The Jamaica international Micah Hyde (Watford) could replace Richard Chaplow in central midfield position. Steve Cotterill has signed two wingers as well: John Oster (Sunderland) and Jean-Louis Valois, a French having joined from Clyde are going to supply the strikers with crosses. Another winger, young Matt O'Neill, is on loan at Accrington Stanley for 3 months. Former Man City player Tony Grant has already been with the club last season, he's another central midfielder. Joel Pilkington and Mark Hayes (player/coach) will be in the reserves for the beginning.
There is a lack of strikers at the club right now as we only have Ade Akinbiyi (one of the best strikers in the Championship though) and young Dean Bowditch, who is on loan from Ipswich for 3 months.
The targets for the season
The board wants to avoid relegation. This is my aim too, but I want to have it done as soon as possible in order to give our young talented players like Kyle Lafferty, Cayne Hanley, Tom Ince or Alex Taylor some playing time in professional football. We will play a 4-4-2 with 1 DM, 1 CM and AML/AMR playing quick and direct football - I hope this will work out.
As there is no transfer budget I will need to look out for free transfers or loan deals as we still need some strikers and wingers.
Another target will be to improve the average attendance as only an average of 12,000 people went through the turnstiles at Turf Moor last season...
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Clarets90, 11th July 2004: EASY START FOR BURNLEY
The first friendly of pre-season saw us play Boston United from League Two, which we won 1-0 thanks to a goal by new signing John Oster. As both teams have only just started to train again, the quality of the game wasn't the best.
Clarets90, 16th July 2004: GOATER WON'T JOIN CLARETS
Helginho wanted to make a deal with Reading including the transfers of defender Lee Roche while striker Shaun Goater should move to Burnley in return. However, Reading had no interest in signing Roche and Shaun Goater moved to Rotherham for a fee of two thousand pounds, money Burnley could not generate.
Clarets90, 18th July 2004: HULSE DEAL OFF
Burnley lost their friendly during the official season opening against new Premier League boys West Bromwich Albion 0-1. Reporters were told after the game that a possible loan deal for WBA striker Rob Hulse couldn't be completed as the Clarets can only pay 30% of Hulse's salary.
Clarets90, 22nd July 2004: BELLION SCORES ON DEBUT
David Bellion has signed on a season-long deal from Manchester United. He had a gread debut in Claret & Blue, scoring the final goal in Burnley's 3-1 victory at Walsall with Ade Akinbiyi having scored twice. David Bellion also turns up for the French Under-21s.
Clarets90, 26th July 2004: NO ONE WANTS TO JOIN BURNLEY
Burnley manager Helginho is not having a good time on the transfer market so far as no preferred target has signed with Burnley so far. Jordi Cruyff, Armando and Saulus Mikalajunas rejected offers to join while Burnley cancelled the deal for Italian Jonathan Bacchini as he is banned until April 2005. There are still no alternatives to John Oster and Jean-Louis Valois on the wings at Turf Moor.
Clarets90, 1st August 2004: PRE-SEASON WRAPPED UP WITH LOSS
One week before the opening game of the Championship season at Reading, Burnley lost their final pre-season friendly at their old rival Bradford City 1-0. To make matters worse Lee Roche got injured and will be unavailable for the game at Reading.