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Jack Cork has this evening been called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil. I certainly wasn’t expecting this news today but there is absolutely no doubt that it is fully deserved given Jack’s performances for the Clarets this season.

It was back in July; the players had just returned for pre-season training when the speculation started that we were in talks with Cork, who had enjoyed two loan spells with us during the time when Brian Laws was manager.

1718 burnley jack cork 01 500x500It was all but confirmed when pictures appeared on social media at an airport hotel with Matt Williams, the club’s head of football & company governance and Matt Hocking, better known as Bumble, our player liaison officer. By the following day he was in Ireland with the squad and a Burnley player.

I wasn’t so sure it was the best of signings but it hasn’t taken long to see that this is a different Jack Cork than the one who left us in 2011. He’s had six years away, the last five of them in the Premier League and in that time he’s developed into an outstanding Premier League midfielder who, right now, is forming a formidable partnership with Belgian international Steven Defour.

Just ahead of the initial squad being announced last week, there was a discussion on the message board promoting some of our players for a potential call up. At the time I thought their chances were zero but I am absolutely delighted to have been proved wrong.

It’s incredible to think that since Sean Dyche became Burnley manager we’ve seen both Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier go on to play for England after leaving the Clarets while Tom Heaton and Michael Keane have won caps as Burnley players. Now it is Jack Cork. Whether he will get a game or not remains to be seen but he’s certainly taken a huge step closer to making an England debut.

On hearing the news, Cork said: “I’m really, really happy. I haven’t really got the words for it. I’m looking forward to going to meet up.

“We’ve had a good start to the season and you’re probably not going to get many better opportunities to be in the England squad, because we are doing so well. Four or five of the lads in the squad probably could have got in at the same time as me, so I feel lucky that I’ve been given the chance and, hopefully, if we can keep this form up then maybe one or two others can get in as well.”

Cork has played previously for England at levels up to under-21 but this call up means he’s had to cancel a short holiday. “There are worse decisions in life,” he joked. “I was looking forward to getting a few days with the family after the start to the season and working hard, but it’s a good reward and I’m just really happy.”

Proud manager Dyche said of this latest call up: “It’s another great marker for Burnley Football Club to have another player called up to a full international squad. It’s great for him and a deserved call up. We were delighted when we managed to sign Jack and he’s shown, through his performances exactly why.”

And chairman Mike Garlick added: “We are all absolutely delighted for Jack, who deserves this following his super start to the season. It shows players that coming to Burnley is the place to come. In our culture and environment, players can and do improve and it’s not the first time we have seen this happen. It’s no coincidence and it’s happening pretty frequently now.”

The games are both at Wembley. We play world champions Germany this Friday before facing Brazil in a Bobby Moore Fund international on Tuesday. Let’s hope Jack comes back to Burnley for the game against his previous club Swansea as a full England international.

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