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Burnley are once again a Category 2 club which means our academy under-21 and under-18 teams will no longer play in Premier League 2 and the U18 Premier League. After two seasons playing in those leagues, we are returning to play in the Professional Development League and the U18 Professional Development League this season.

The Professional Development League, like Premier League 2, has switched from an under-23 league to under-21 but five over age outfield players will be permitted to play along with an over age goalkeeper.

The league kicks off today with four fixtures, including our home game against Charlton who we will be playing at home for the first time at this level. The league is split geographically with teams playing those in the same league twice, home and away, and the teams in the other league once, home or away. In all of our three previous seasons in this league, the fixture against Charlton has been away from home. In 2017/18, we beat them 1-0 with a Rahis Nabi goal but were beaten 3-0 in the following season. In 2019/20, we were 3-2 winners; Ali Koiki scored twice with Mitch George also on the scoresheet.

In previous seasons, we’ve rarely used first team squad players in this team, just on occasions when a player has been coming back from a long term injury to get some game time. Last season all of Ashley Barnes, Matěj Vydra and Dale Stephens played but from memory it was just one game each. We don’t know just how Vincent Kompany will view these games and whether he will use squad players although I think we can definitely rule out Dara Costelloe, last season’s under-23 leading goalscorer, given he’s played both of our first team games to date.

All of our home game this season are scheduled to be played at the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland, some to be afternoon kick offs and some in the evening. Today’s game against Charlton kicks off at 2 p.m.

The league’s opening week fixtures are below.


Monday 8th August
Burnley v Charlton
Hull v Millwall
Peterborough v QPR
Sheffield Wednesday v Swansea

Tuesday 9th August
Barnsley v Bristol City
Sheffield United v Reading

Wednesday 10th August
Wigan v Watford

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