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Stan Ternent was still reeling from the loss of Gerry Harrison to Sunderland but just round the corner came good news with two of his young recruits Chris Brass and Paul Smith signing new deals to remain at Turf Moor.

Andy Cooke and Glen Little had previously signed new contracts and they were now followed by Brass and Smith, both aged 22, who had put pen to paper on new three-year deals to keep them at Burnley until the end of the 2000/01 season.

A new contract for Chris Brass

A delighted Ternent said: “It is great news for the club, especially considering Glen Little and Andy Cooke signed recently. They are the future of the club and will be important to us if they continue to maintain the progress they have made. We are cooking with gas now with our first pre-season games around the corner.”

Added to this news, Ternent was more hopeful that he could persuade 23-year-old Paul Weller to follow them and stay at Burnley. “Paul still has a few people to talk to, which he is entitled to do,” he said. “We have made him an offer, and he is still thinking that over, but we are hopeful he will join Chris, Paul, Glen and Andy.”

There was news too concerning left-back Chris Vinnicombe, but not news that suggested he’d be staying. Having failed to win a contract with a club in his native south west, he’d now moved to fellow Division Two club Wycombe on trial.

He hadn’t received an offer but was about to play for them as a trialist in a pre-season game against Crystal Palace. The Chairboys had lost regular left-back Mickey Bell to Bristol City and needed a replacement although manager Neil Smillie wanted to see him in a game before offering him a deal.

Smillie said of Vinnicombe: “Someone who was playing for Glasgow Rangers doesn’t normally go out on trial, but we are pleased to have someone of Chris’ quality here. He is skilful, with a good touch, and can tackle. We are looking to play with more width now, and hopefully he will be the answer.”

Wycombe had also made a move to sign our goalkeeper Tony Parks but were rebuffed by Burnley with Parks intimating that he wished to remain in the north west. He was our only senior goalkeeper too with only Craig Mawson as back up.

There was still no sign of any incoming signings other than the previously reported Steve Morgan who was looking to impress Ternent enough to win a contract. With Morgan potentially set to fill the gap left by Vinnicombe, it was making a move for Bryan Small look less likely.

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