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Willie Donachie – a candidate to replace Colin Harvey

After all the speculation that Burnley were set to smash their transfer record with the capture of Osasuna, and former Bolton striker, Fabian de Freitas, manager Adrian Heath revealed that there would be no immediate move for him.

Heath said: “I have made enquiries about him and he is a player I’ve shown interest in. I need to bring a striker in for the start of the season because Andy Cooke will be suspended and I need someone to partner Paul Barnes. I have some interesting names in mind and have been working hard to try and sort something out. I can assure everyone that something will be sorted out by the time we kick off the new season.”

The manager was still searching for a goalkeeper and a right-back. Aidan Davidson at Bradford City was still thought to be the goalkeeper while Mark Patterson at Plymouth was now been tipped to come in for Gary Parkinson; it would mean the signing of a second Mark Patterson in one summer.

The exciting news was the prospect of another Dutch player coming in, this time a midfielder. A delighted Heath said, following his return from the Netherlands: “I have had discussions with a player in Holland and that should bear fruit later this week.

“The player I am interested in is out of contract and that means we could get him under Bosman. He is an extremely adaptable player and is in the Frank Rijkaard mould. I am very excited at the possibility of signing him and it would be a wonderful signing if we can get it sorted.”

There had been progress too in the search for a new assistant manager to replaced Colin Harvey who had returned to Everton. Heath had spoken to three candidates, two of whom were former Grimsby boss Kenny Swain and ex-Claret Willie Donachie. “I will definitely have someone in place before the first team squad report back for pre-season training next week,” he said. “The people I’ve spoken with are desperately keen to take the job. They are experienced people with a lot of football knowledge. They are all people I can bounce ideas off and none of them are yes men. Having a number two you can trust and confide in is vital.”

Heath also took a first opportunity to speak about the recently released 1997/98 fixtures that would see us kick off against Watford, the team we’d ended the previous season against. He believed that both teams would look very different from the ones that played in that 4-1 win against them just a few weeks earlier and he thought this could be one of our toughest games of the season.

“Elton John is back at Watford and that gives them good money to spend, and Graham Taylor will be playing a leading role in managing the side. I am sure they will have at least five new faces in the team and that will make life difficult for us. But we are probably going to have half a new team as well and that will mean the teams are barely recognisable from the ones that finished last season.”

He added: “Nobody gave us a prayer at Luton on the first day of last season, but we surprised a few people and won that game. We will be fired up for the match and I’m sure we will have a big following for the game.”

Meanwhile, we’d been drawn against Lincoln, managed by John Beck, in the first round of the League Cup. The Burnley boss said: “John Beck’s style is not the sort of football I would like to play and we know it will be a challenge. We beat them in the FA Cup last season and over two legs we should have enough to beat Lincoln. I will be very disappointed if we are not in the second round draw.”

Finally, Stan Ternent had been in contact regarding the possibility of signing Peter Swan for Burnley. He’d been told how much he would cost and it wasn’t expected that he’d be able to pay that and any move looked dead as did that of Marlon Beresford to Huddersfield who, despite all the speculation, had not been in contact.

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