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Young central defender Bobby Thomas was the only one of the second year scholars to be offered a professional deal by the Clarets when the decisions were made at the beginning of March and five weeks later he confirmed yesterday that he’s signed the two year deal that will keep him at Burnley until the end of the 2020/21 season.

1819 burnley bobby thomas 00 500x500His second year as a scholar saw him become a regular in the under-18 team and he took over the captaincy when Michael Fowler moved to Padiham on loan. However, Thomas himself made a loan move when he and Kian Yari went to Kendal in November. He kicked off his youth loan with a goal too, in a 4-1 away win Glossop North End, Kendal’s first win since August.

The calendar year didn’t end in the best way for him though. Back at Burnley, and at Turf Moor, he was the first of two Burnley players to be sent off as we went out of the FA Youth Cup on penalties against Oxford.

By mid-January, things had taken an upward turn for him when he was promoted to the under-23 side at Barnsley, a game we lost 1-0. Coach Steve Stone said of him after that game: “He looked strong and commanded whatever he did. I had to keep on him to get high up the pitch, but he seems like he takes information on board.

“I’ve liked what he’s about since I’ve come here and that’s why he’s in my team. I want him around this team until the end of the season so when hopefully he’s here next season, if given a contract and all goes well, he’s got an understanding of what the under-23s are like.”

All has gone well. He’s been a permanent fixture in the under-23s since and turned in some excellent performances. He’s even scored four goals for the team, two in the league and one each in the two cups.

In early March, when the contract news was confirmed, academy manager Jon Pepper said of him: “Bobby has been a feature for the under-23s and the fact that he has made that step quite smoothly has been integral to that decision and we look forward to seeing him develop further.”

Thomas himself confirmed via social media that he’d signed the deal and said: “Delighted to sign my first professional contract. Look forward to these next couple of years.”

Up the Clarets wish him the very best as he starts his professional career.

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