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It was fixture release day on 17th June 1997 with Burnley set to start the 1997/98 season against Watford, the same opponents who brought the 1996/97 to an end.

The new season was set to start on 9th August with a trip to Vicarage Road to take on the team who we’d beaten 4-1 at home as that previous season came to end. Andy Cooke scored a hat trick that day with Gary Parkinson adding the fourth. Neither would kick off the new season for us with Cooke suspended and Parkinson having moved to Preston.

Adrian Heath not moving to Stoke and committed to Burnley

The first home game was against Gillingham a week later and the Lancashire derby games against Preston would be in September at home and January at Deepdale. Having been given an away game for the first game, the season would come to an end at home against Plymouth.

Adrian Heath was, meanwhile, continuing to look to add to his squad and news came through from Spain that he was ready to smash the club’s transfer record having made a £400,000 bid for former Bolton striker Fabian de Freitas.

He’d been with Bolton for two seasons but a year earlier had left England to sign for Osasuna in Spain where his career had been followed closely by Spanish soccer writer George Magore and he was reporting that all the Spanish media were confirming the bid.

De Freitas was best known for his performance for Bolton in the 1995 First Division play-off final when he scored twice in a 4-3 win against Reading after extra time, this after Reading had led 2-0 just twelve minutes into the game. Bolton’s response didn’t come until fifteen minutes from the end when a 12-goal legend scored their first. De Freitas scored the second and the fourth with Bolton’s third netted by Mixu Paatelainen.

There had been no word on any further imports from the Netherlands but a deal for Bradford City goalkeeper Aidan Davison was looking ever closer with his team mate Nigel Pepper also believed to be a possible target.

Everything was looking positive and we certainly didn’t need anything to derail things, but there was a concern with Heath being linked with the manager’s job at his home town club Stoke with Lou Macari having departed for a second time.

There was no real need to worry. Heath attended a Clarets Independent Supporters Association (CISA) meeting and told those present that he would not be leaving for Stoke despite his affection for the club.

Everything was now building up for the new season with de Freitas looking set to be Heath’s third summer signing.

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