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BURNLEY have completed a £25,000 deadline day swoop for AFC Telford United defender Duane Courtney.
Cott's court swoop
The 20-year-old, who was on trial at Turf Moor earlier this summer, arrives as immediate cover for Wayne Thomas following the knee injury that has cruelly ruled the stopper out for the rest of the season.
Courtney has signed a two-year deal with the Clarets that could earn the Unibond Premier League side a further fee dependent on appearances.
The former Birmingham City youth teamer earned the move after an impressive debut season last year following the formation of AFC Telford, where he made a clean sweep of the club's main awards by winning the supporters' player of the season, the manager's player of the season and the players' player of the season.
AFC Telford chairman Lee Carter revealed, "It's the biggest fee that's been received here in living memory. We've lost a superb player and we wish him all the best at his new club.
"We couldn't stand in his way with an opportunity like this, but we've also made sure that it's a good deal for us."
Manager Bernard McNally added: "Duane has got desire, he sets himself goals and I'm delighted to have given him the opportunity to get back into the game after he was released from Birmingham City.
"I've got nothing but praise for him and I'm sure he will have a successful future. He'll be difficult to replace, but neither I, nor the club could stand in his way."
Courtney's arrival, which follows last Friday's influx of three new players, takes Steve Cotterill's post-deadline squad to 17 full-time professionals, supplemented by apprentices and current loanees Karl Bermingham from Manchester City's and Wolves' Keith Lowe.
And following the latest blow of losing Thomas earlier this week, Cotterill insists his players will now pick up the baton and fight for the change of luck he believes is long overdue.
He said: "During all the bad luck we have - and it has been exactly that, because it certainly hasn't been bad play - everybody who has pulled on a Burnley shirt this season has given their all.
"Everybody will continue to give their all and we will fight on until we get the rub of the green that automatically means we get it right.
"I always think in adversity, whether that is individually, collectively or club wise, it galvanises you and I just think with what has gone on in this football club at the moment, that is what we must do.
"It is the only way to succeed. We must never give up on anything or start feeling sorry for ourselves. We must carry on until we do win and do succeed."