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The Football League, or EFL as they like to call themselves now, has kicked off its new season with 70 of the 72 teams playing their opening fixtures over the last few days. One game, the one involving Bury, didn’t go ahead. Because of the ongoing problems at Gigg Lane, the league suspending their opening day fixture and that’s also the case for their second game this weekend against Accrington Stanley.

There is always a weekly interest in seeing which former Burnley players might have scored goals and should any do so it is likely get at least a mention on the message board, but I thought, with it being the opening weekend, it might be interesting to see how many of our ex-players actually featured in any of the 35 games.

bamfordThe final number is 18, and that includes a couple of unused substitutes in League Two, and it is in League Two where we will start. There were a total of six in this league with two each from three different games. Morecambe included Luke Conlan in their side, beaten 2-0 at home against a Grimsby team who had Luke Hendrie in their starting line up.

Mansfield came back from two down to draw 2-2 at Newport. Fit again Alex MacDonald played the full ninety minutes for Mansfield who had new recruit, goalkeeper Aidan Stone, on the bench. The other unused substitute was Oldham’s Chris Eagles at Forest Green for whom Joseph Mills played the full game alongside his brother Matt in a game the home side won 1-0.

Moving into League One, there were just four, all in different games, but they did include a debut for Luke O’Neill who played his first game for Wimbledon since leaving Gillingham at the end of last season. It wasn’t a winning start for O’Neill; Wimbledon were beaten 2-1 at home by Rotherham.

The only winner among the four was Nathan Delfouneso who was in the Blackpool team that kicked off with a 2-0 home win against Bristol Rovers in front of a crowd of over 11,000 still delighted in their Oystonless club.

Tom Anderson played in Doncaster’s 1-1 home draw against Gillingham while over at London Road there was a second Peterborough debut for George Boyd. It was Boyd’s 113th league appearance for The Posh. His first debut came in January 2007 at Darlington in a League Two game. He had scored in a 5-1 win at Millwall just over six years after that debut before moving to Hull.

The Championship provided the only goal scored by a former Burnley player with Patrick Bamford (pictured) netting Leeds’ second in their impressive 3-1 win at Bristol City. The striker who spent half a season with us on loan from Chelsea was surprisingly in close proximity to a number of opponents but didn’t go down, not even when his face came into contact with the ball.

There were no goals for three other strikers. Lukas Jutkiewicz lined up for Birmingham; they won 1-0 at Brentford but there was no winning start to the season for Sam Vokes whose Stoke side were beaten 2-1 at home by QPR for whom Marc Pugh made a debut. Those two ex-Clarets must have met on the touchline in the 68th minute with Sam being substituted just as QPR were bringing on Pughy for his first game in their colours.

Steven Fletcher was celebrating a 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday win at Reading. Another player to be substituted, he didn’t get off the mark with his first goal of the season almost ten years since he made his Burnley debut at Stoke.

Two other players who featured for us in our first ever Premier League season in 2009/10 were in Championship action. Kevin McDonald was in the Fulham team beaten 1-0 at Barnsley while Danny Fox played for Wigan who bet Cardiff 3-2 at home. That just leaves Nathan Dyer who played the full ninety minutes for Swansea who beat Hull 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

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