With only transfer speculation to keep us entertained during the close season, we take the opportunity to look at a number of retired Clarets still involved in the game.
Former Burnley midfielder, Micky Mellon, is continuing to impress in club management. Leading Tranmere Rovers to a League One return through the 2019 playoffs, Mellon is building a strong reputation in football circles with previous promotion success at Fleetwood Town FC and Shrewsbury Town FC, respectively. A season of League One survival will surely be his short term aim, but long term is he a future Burnley manager perhaps? Time will tell.
Tranmere and Mellon, will have to battle with ex-Burnley midfielder Joey Barton in League One this season. An 11th placed finish for Barton in his first full season as a manager of Fleetwood Town FC is seen by many as a big achievement. With Steve Davies the ex-Burnley assistant helping Barton with scouting duties, a couple of shrewd signings could see the Cod Army enter playoff contention.
Further down the ladder, Graham Alexander is readying himself for a season in League Two with his Salford City team. The durable midfielder dropped from previous league management roles to guide Salford into the league for the first time in their history. Under the ownership of the Class of 92 and with Chris Casper as Director of Football, it is hard to gage exactly where the Manchester club feel is a realistic long term aim. With their financial clout coupled with strong support from the community, League One is certainly within their grasp. Whatever Salford’s goal, Alexander seems crucial to their plans. It will certainly be interesting to see if Salford can compete with the big boys.
Michael Duff is another former Claret readying himself for League Two. Leaving the Claret’s coaching staff during 2018/2019 to take up the head role at Cheltenham FC, Duff will be eager to show what he can do in his first full season and especially with the opportunity to utilise a transfer window. With a number of players on their way out of the Gloucestershire club already, including striker Liam McAlinden, it will be interesting to see how Duff performs once the squad has his mark upon it. Duff is not the only former Burnley coach in League Two however. Dino Malaria is the manager of Stevenage FC and Micheal Jolley the manager of Grimsby FC. Both are also relatively new in their roles but have made promising starts.
A number of ex-Burnley professionals are making their mark in coaching circles also. Wade Elliott is the Head Coach at Stoke City U23s. The energetic winger and Burnley icon, is looking to build on the recent success of the academy in supplying the first team with players such as Tom Edwards, the talented right back. Promoted from within, Elliot is well thought of at the Potteries. Brian ‘BEAST’ Jensen is looking to follow in his former team mates steps and pass on his wealth of experience in a new role coaching role at Shrewsbury FC. A brief return to the North West saw Jensen work at Bury FC last season. Ash Hoskins is another former player helping to coach the next generation of players at Burnley’s near neighbours, Accrington Stanley.
In the American USL, Martin Paterson is the assistant coach at Tampa Bay Rowdies. Following the departure of Joe Cole, many were interested as to how Paterson and the Rowdies would perform this season. However a strong start has seen a very youthful team top the table at the half way stage. Paterson has impressed in his role. A working holiday last Christmas saw Paterson scout a number of players including Caleb Richards from Norwich FC. The loan signing has been a success and has been testament to Paterson’s eye for a player.
In non-league, Andy Payton, local boy and prolific striker, has recently been named the new manager of Garstang FC. Quite open with his social media posts and an effective advocate on the issues that footballers face both during and at the the end of their career, Payton is now clearly in a good place. A talented finisher and with experience playing both in England and Scotland, the retired centre forward is looking to pass on his wealth of knowledge. With the completion of his pro licence and first managerial position, many fans will be willing Payton every success in the next part of his football journey.
Brian Flynn, the former Wales manager, is involved with Wrexham FC. Assisting with the coaching and management duties, Flynn will be hopeful Wrexham can push for promotion. Graham Lancashire is another assisting in his role at Lancaster City FC. Appointed assistant manager, Lancashire together with manager Mark Fell, have notably used their knowledge of the local academy systems to give young loan players a chance in men’s football.
Away from management and coaching, Jamie Hoyland and John Mullin join Steve Davies in respected scouting roles. With Hoyland at Everton and Mullin at Manchester City, they are regular visitors to games at Burnley FC. Hoyland of course is also a regular pundit on Radio Lancashire. He is not the only only former Burnley player behind the microphone. Steve Thompson the popular Scottish striker, a hit at the recent charity dinner to celebrate ten years since promotion, is a successful media pundit north of the border after finishing his playing career with St Mirren. He is joined by ex-team mate Steve Caldwell, but with Caldwell predominantly a pundit for Canadian TV.