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Burnley departed for the south west and a stay at Exeter University just a day before the first of two games which had been arranged against Dawlish Town and Elmore.

There was no Paul Weller in the 17-strong squad that left Turf Moor. He’d continued to stall on signing a new deal, with other clubs, most notably West Ham and West Brom, still interested in signing him and he’d been to West Brom on the previous day for talks despite their manager Denis Smith reporting: “Paul is a wide player who can play in midfield, but he is a small attacking player, and that is not what I am really looking for at the moment.”

No place on tour for Paul Weller

Stan Ternent continued to keep hope that he’d commit to staying at Burnley and reiterated our stance: “We have made him an offer and are still waiting to hear for him,” Ternent said. “So while we are planning for the start of the season, we will have to plan without him until he commits himself to the club.

“There is no point putting him in the side as we build towards the first game of the season, and then seeing him sign for someone else. Although he isn’t travelling with us, he is getting himself fit and that is good.”

Should there be no opportunity to go to either West Ham or West Brom, it was believed he’d then be likely to take up an offer in either the Netherlands or Germany.

Besides Weller, trialist Ronnie Jepson was not included in the party and neither was Vince Overson who was training with the hope of winning a contract. The full squad to travel, which included trialist Steve Morgan, was: Tony Parks, Craig Mawson, Chris Brass, Neil Moore, Steve Morgan, Steve Blatherwick, Lee Howey, Mark Winstanley, Glen Little, Mark Robertson, Michael Williams, Mark Ford, Paul Smith, Colin Carr-Lawton, Andy Cooke, Andy Payton and Kevin Henderson.

Ternent said: “The games against Dawlish and Elmore will be good tests as they play at a decent standard. But I am not too concerned about that, we are just looking to get some match practice. The result isn’t important although we would like to win the matches. Everything is building up to August 8th. We will put the ball in the middle and see what happens. We will draw our conclusions from there, ideas and opinions are being formed every day.”

Meanwhile, Exeter had moved back in to try and clinch a deal for Chris Vinnicombe ahead of Wycombe but it was looking as if there bid would fail with Vinnicombe having starred for Wycombe in their friendly against Crystal Palace. Wycombe boss Neil Smillie said: “Chris looked very good against Palace and has done in the last two weeks of training here at Bisham Abbey. He showed us his quality and looked fit. He defended well and put over a lot of good crosses. I now have to speak to the chairman and to Chris, and hopefully we can sort something out. Chris is definitely a player I would like to sign.”

When asked, Ternent said he’d not heard anything from Vinnicombe which suggested it was almost certain that the once record signing would be walking out for nothing.

Off the pitch, the club confirmed that they would not longer be selling Snickers Bars at the ground. In a marketing promotion for the chocolate bar which included prizes, those who didn’t win one of those prizes received the message: “Sorry you  haven’t won this time. Things could be worse. You could play for Burnley, their fans turned their backs on a game for five minutes to protest at their team’s poor form.”

They hadn’t got the story correct and Burnley’s hospitality manager Graham Lee was left fuming. He said: “I don’t see the funny side of this so called joke. We will be writing to Mars plc to tell them we do not require Snickers for the forthcoming season.” The red card for the chocolate bar was backed by Colne Clarets president Tony Bannister and Supporters’ Club chairman Shaun Borman who suggested it was bang out of order and a disgrace.

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