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Adrian Heath was dealt a blow when the speculation of a couple of weeks earlier proved to be accurate and left him searching for a new assistant manager for the second time in just a matter of a few weeks.

Colin Harvey had come in following John Ward’s departure to take over as Bristol City at the end of March. Now, Harvey was leaving to return to Everton, a club he served with great distinction both as a player and manager. He’d accepted a role leading the development of the club’s young talent.

Colin Harvey leaves Burnley for Everton

Heath admitted: “It is disappointing for us, but I can understand why Colin left to take over as the man in charge of developing young talent at Everton. I don’t think any other club could have convinced him to leave Burnley, but he has been given a five-year deal and it won’t matter how many times the manager changes at Everton, he will be safe.”

Looking towards a replacement for Harvey, he said: “I could fill the empty desk in my office with someone who would come and work here for next to nothing just because it was Burnley Football Club.

“Some managers would never dream of appointing an assistant with a big pedigree who might either leave, or be a threat to their own job, but I want someone with bright ideas, someone who thinks about the game and someone who can help me develop the club in the way I want it to go. There’s no point having a yes man who just agrees with me all the time or appointing someone who thinks exactly the way I do. I need someone who I can bounce ideas off and who can add something different to the club.”

He’d already moved quickly and reported that he’d held fruitful discussions with two people who would be ideal candidates. He wouldn’t name them but assured everyone that the new number two would be in place for the start of pre-season training.

With one signing from the Netherlands in the bag, that of Marco Gentile, the manager was ready to fly out to the Netherlands again with two more transfer targets firmly in mind. He confirmed that one of the two was a right-back who, if signed, would come in as a replacement for Gary Parkinson, and the other was a combative midfielder.

The full back had already said he was keen on the move but Heath thought he’d missed out on the midfielder. “We were told the second player had agreed a new two-year deal,” he said. “That now appears not to be the case and if everything goes the way I hope, the pair could both be in England for serious transfer talks next week.”

A number of Dutch players had been for trials during the previous season although none of them had been signed. Heath was now happy to just see players playing in the Dutch league before making an offer.

We’d now had very positive talks with a goalkeeper, still believed to be Bradford City’s Aidan Davidson. “He is keen to join us and is very enthusiastic about the prospect,” Heath said. “Bringing in a goalkeeper as cover and competition for Marlon Beresford is a top priority. We should have at least one goalkeeper on board by the time we report back for pre-season training next month.”

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