PRETIUMQUE et Causa Laboris: The prize and the cause of our labour.
It is a motto that the town of Burnley and its football club have come to live by down the years and one that Sean Dyche, their promotion winning manager, adopted from day one.
“Minimum requirement, maximum effort”; “Sweat on the shirt”; “One-club mentality” were popular phrases that were introduced immediately after his appointment, and ones that both players and people identified with, repeated with regularity to become almost subliminal.
Dyche knew hard work would be appreciated, yet few – not even the manager himself – could have predicted how quickly it would be rewarded just 18 months on.
But after putting his own stamp on the squad with a canny summer recruitment programme something clicked in pre-season and carried on into the campaign, resulting in this remarkable, relentless, record-breaking season that has mixed graft with guile.
Not even losing top scoring striker Charlie Austin less than 48 hours before a competitive ball was kicked made them lose momentum.
While the outside world had the Clarets written off for relegation, questioning where the goals would come from, in-house it galavanised them and brought together the most powerful attacking partnership outside of the Premier League. Sam Vokes and top scorer Danny Ings – the Football League’s Championship player of the year – deserve their place there next season.
But the same goes for Burnley’s brilliant ‘band of brothers’.
From goalkeeper Tom Heaton to star striker Ings bonds, have been formed at this proud family club, a tantalising togetherness that has bridged the gap between the fans and the footballers.
Partnerships have been prominent all over the pitch, and not just up front. But ‘V-Ings’ versus Liverpool’s ‘SAS’ of Sturridge and Suarez is a mouth-watering concept that will transform Turf Moor into Turf Roar.
Dyche has been the orchestrator of the bright lights of the Premier League illuminating this corner of East Lancashire once more.
He declared promotion an ‘historic’ achievement in English football, given the small size of his squad, the limited resources, the least players used.