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The first week in July has been a busy one with players coming, players going, new staff, young players going out on loan and, to bring the week to an end, a first international goal for Scott Arfield.

At academy level, Michael Duff stepped up as under-23 coach with Danny Cadamarteri coming in to take over the youth team, and he’ll be getting an early trip to Prague as the team take part in the Generali Cee Cup, the trip being sponsored by the Up the Clarets Youth Foundation.

Cadamarteri wasn’t the only new appointment this week. Although he’s been here a while, the club confirmed that Ian Jones had moved from Blackburn to replace Chris Sulley as head of academy coaching while Jack Higgins has taken the education role vacated by Pat McKiernan.

The club also announced three new under-23 signings. Aidan Stone and Christian N’Guessan we already new about but we’ve also recruited Rahis Nabi from West Brom. We also saw three more development squad players go out on loan with Ntumba Massanka, Jimmy Dunne and Brad Jackson going to Wrexham, Barrow and Southport respectively.

Within three weeks of the fixtures having been released, five of our games have been moved. We’ve got one home game, against Crystal Palace, and the trip to Everton selected for television while the Spurs game will now be on a Sunday as will the Arsenal home game in November with the game at Bournemouth put back from Tuesday to Wednesday.

George Boyd, as expected, decided to leave us after three years. He’s gone to the home for retired Clarets at Sheffield Wednesday while Rouwen Hennings returned to Germany yesterday on a permanent basis. He made just three league starts for us.

1415 burnley michael keane 01 1000x500Michael Keane also made the decision to leave Turf Moor. He arrived on the same day as Boyd three summers ago but his departure received a bit more coverage given he’s moved to Everton for what is a record fee for the Clarets.

Keane, who made 100 league appearances for the Clarets and went on to become the first Burnley player to start a game for England side Martin Dobson in 1974, didn’t just clear off; he left with some parting words for everyone at Turf Moor.

“What a tough decision it has been to leave this amazing football club,” he said. “I can honestly say I have had the best three years of my life here, on and off the pitch.”

He referred to those late, late goals against Brighton and Middlesbrough while thanking the staff. “I will never be grateful enough for the work Sean Dyche, Ian Woan, Tony Loughlan and Billy Mercer have done with me on a daily basis to get me to this point in my career,” he added.

“The gaffer showed a lot of faith in me three years ago, when it could have been easy for me to stay at United and look for an opportunity there. He convinced me to come to Burnley and develop under his guidance and I put that down as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, so thanks gaffer.”

He said he had made friends for life with those he’s played alongside and ended by thanking the supporters. “You have been amazing with me and the team since day one through low times and the many successful times  we have had together,” he said before ending with: “Burnley Football Club will always have a special place in my heart and I wish you all the best for the upcoming season. I can’t wait to play at Turf Moor again in March.”

That warranted a reply from the manager who said what I think we all knew: “The reality was that Michael was probably going to move”, adding: “It’s not about him wanting to leave; it’s just a natural progression.”

Dyche said: “I think Michael spoke very well about our club and about what he’s done here and rightly so, as he’s had a fantastic journey.

“When I first met Michael with his agent and parents, I kind of guided him as to how I saw his future and he’s obviously played a massive part of gripping that himself and we’ve guided him towards that.

“There comes a time for some of these players when it’s probably appropriate they move on and I think on this occasion it is. I mentioned last year to him and to the world, when people were chasing after him, that I thought he had more to do at Burnley before he moves on.

“Now I think he’s in a really good place to go on and take his career on again, and we can only thank him for what he’s done. He’s been a fantastic servant to us, both on and off the pitch.”

taylor waltersDyche, besides waving goodbye to Keane, has had a busy week himself. Most of the squad, minus those who have been on international duty, reported back for pre-season training and there was a new face there in Charlie Taylor who had signed from Leeds.

He’ll provide competition for Steven Ward at left-back. “I still think there’s more to come from Charlie,” Dyche said. “I still think there’s a lot of growth and a lot of potential for him. It was hard for him last season in a team that were flying, then fell away a little bit. He had a lot going on, whether he was staying or moving, but I’m pleased to say that I think he’s a signing that can grow and progress here.”

That wasn’t it. Late yesterday afternoon saw Jonathan Walters arrive from Stoke and on Monday the players, with all the returning internationals, are off to the Republic of Ireland for a week. The signing of Walters means we have five Ireland internationals in the squad so it will certainly be familiar territory for them.

By this time next week, we’ll have played our first pre-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium. Who knows? There could even be another new signing or two before Up the Clarets reports from South Dublin next Friday night.

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