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The under-23s are in action this afternoon at Millwall to start their season and the under-18s get underway tomorrow morning at Gawthorpe to kick off their new season in the U18 Professional Development League.

1819 burnley tony philliskirk 01 500x500We ended the pre-season playing in the CEE Cup in Prague. Two years ago, we reached the final before losing to Everton, but this year, with a particularly young team, we finished bottom in the tournament with Michael Mellon, the 15-year-old son of our former midfielder, scoring our only goal. We came up against some very good sides and, in all cases, older sides but coach Tony Philliskirk felt the trip had been a positive one for his squad which includes eleven new scholars.

Last season we drew 0-0 at Millwall but we played them at home in the 2017/18 season and beat them 1-0 with a Michael Fowler goal. Fowler is now with Fleetwood but looking back at the team that day there are just three starting players who remain with the club. Central defenders Oliver Younger and Scott Wilson are both members of Steve Stone’s under-23 squad now while playing on the right hand side of the midfield on that August morning in 2017 was a certain Dwight McNeil.

As it is with Stone and the under-23s, this will be Philliskirk’s first full season in charge of the under-18s. His predecessor Danny Cadamarteri officially left the club in October last year, although he hadn’t been around for a while before that, and Philliskirk’s appointment was announced in December.

The hugely experienced youth coach has a new look squad this season and will be hoping to build on two fifth place finishes in this league since we joined for the 2017/18 season.

Kick off tomorrow morning at Gawthorpe is 11 a.m.

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