CLASS SHINES THROUGH
When Steven Defour left Burnley to enjoy a summer break towards the end of May he might have expected that he had said his final goodbyes to the club.
It’s no secret that the Belgian midfielder could be on his way out of Turf Moor this summer, and it still remains likely that he will leave before the end of August.
But against a depleted Shamrock Rovers side he showed that class can shine through with a 45 minute cameo full of technical excellence.
That Defour can play with style has never been in doubt and he ran the show during the first half, producing one lovely feint to create space for himself in the midfield and generally looking a class apart.
Far greater tests will lie ahead if the 29-year-old is to stay at Burnley this summer and force his way into a two-man midfield, but Friday night at the Tallaght Stadium was a gentle reminder of his ability.
The first friendly of the summer is little more than a souped-up training session for Sean Dyche, it’s a chance to get 45 minutes of mildly competitive football into the legs of his players.
But the Clarets boss would have been pleased to see that his men were looking sharp in their first outing of the summer.
Results are of secondary importance at this stage of pre-season but Burnley looked a coherent unit during both halves of football.
They were almost always on the front foot and the Clarets strung together some good moves as they regularly tested Kevin Horgan in the Shamrock Rovers goal.
This was a promising start to the on-pitch action after a good week of training at Carton House.
Burnley have proved to be a major attraction during their week in Ireland and Friday night’s friendly was no exception.
Having had children regularly descending on Carton House to watch them train there were hundreds of Irish youngsters at the Tallaght Stadium desperate to get a glimpse of their heroes.
It’s no surprise that the locals have flocked to see the Clarets given the growing Irish influence at Turf Moor.
Stephen Ward and Kevin Long have been joined in the last 12 months by Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady and Jon Walters and all five were popular figures here.
But there’s no doubt it’s Brady who is the main man for the Ireland fans and his goal in the second half was greeted with a raucous cheer from the youngsters in attendance.
Most stayed behind at the end to get autographs and selfies, but it was Sam Vokes who was last off the pitch as he fulfilled every last request, heading back down the tunnel without his shirt.
Wales international Vokes might not be so popular over the Irish Sea in October when the two countries go head-to-head in World Cup qualifying.
- The Lancashire Telegraph is following Burnley on tour in association with Accrington Clarets Supporters Club
Source : LancashireTelegraph