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flowersstoneBurnley’s under-23 team are in action again tonight and it will give two of our players the opportunity to play against the club they were both playing for during last season.

It was in early March that Burnley finally confirmed the signing of Harry Flowers (pictured left), a central defender. He’d played in some behind closed doors games for us and had made his first public appearance in the Premier League Cup victory against Sunderland in February, a game played at Stockport.

Early May brought news of another signing from the same club, this time young goalkeeper Aidan Stone (pictured right), a signing Burnley confirmed when the academy players returned recently for pre-season training.

Those two signings have brought about tonight’s game, with the Clarets agreeing to take a side to Brocton for this pre-season friendly.

We face a team who will be playing in the Midland League Division One this coming season having been relegated at the end of last season from the Premier Division.

They’ve had a number of different grounds over the last 15 years or so for various reasons. They moved on one occasion to meet the requirements of the league, moved again and then lost the use of that ground due to council bureaucracy. They then tried to raise money to take over the lease of the Old Police Sports Ground in Stafford but failed to raise the money.

That led them to Silkmore Lane in Stafford where they’ve played since 2008. Tonight’s game will be their sixth pre-season games. They started with big wins against Redgate Clayton and Eastwood Hanley before suffering narrow defeats against Port Vale and Boldmere St Michaels and a third defeat this week against Coleshill.

The club have been in shock following the news yesterday of the passing of player/coach Adam Robinson’s dad and a minute’s silence will be held before kick off.

But Sam Norton, who became manager in May, replacing David Berks who remains at the club as a player, is looking forward to the game. He said: “The visit of Burnley on Friday night is going to be the biggest test of the summer for the players but one which I hope they relish the opportunity.

“Burnley have had good results against Colne and Witton Albion and we know they will be a fit and athletic side with plenty of quality. We’re looking forward to welcoming Aidan and Harry back that’s for sure, the lads are looking forward to seeing them and we’re expecting a big crowd. But our priority is to compete, that’s our focus and the most important factor for us.”

Kick off tonight is 7 p.m. with admission priced at £5 adults, £3 concessions. For Burnley fans wishing to go to the game, the postcode for Silkmore Lane is ST17 4JH.

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