THE summer passed in a whirlwind for Burnley striker Sam Vokes this year.

With the Premier League season not finishing until May 21 it was already a shorter break than usual for the Clarets squad.

But Vokes’ work wasn’t done yet. He linked up with the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifier in Serbia on June 11, and after a trip to Belgrade came Vokes’ wedding in Italy.

Before he knew it last year’s top scorer for the Clarets was back in training, linking up with his teammates on July 10 for the pre-season camp in Ireland.

“It was a good two-week trip with Wales and we got a good point out in Serbia then it was straight in to the wedding so it was a busy summer,” the 27-year-old said.

“Then it was back to pre-season so a couple of weeks off (in between) was nice.”

Wales’ crucial draw in Serbia and his wedding capped a memorable few weeks for Vokes, who finished the 2016/17 campaign in fine form in front of goal for the Clarets.

He scored five goals in his final five games of the season for Burnley to end as top scorer, taking his tally to 12, with 10 of them coming in the Premier League.

“I felt brilliant and I didn’t want the season to end,” Vokes said. “It was a great end to it with staying up.

“For us as a squad we’ll look to build on that this year and try to push forward.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s another big test for us. It was a great season in completing that job of staying up so we’ll be looking to do the same again this season.”

The Clarets have enjoyed a productive pre-season leading up to the big kick-off tomorrow.

The foundations for that were laid in Ireland, and by Sean Dyche’s squad returning in excellent shape ready to hit the ground running in the first couple of weeks of July, and Vokes has been impressed with the levels of fitness on show.

“It’s unbelievable really,” he said. “On that week in Dublin the lads looked really fit and ready to go. Some of the lads had international duty so they only had two or three weeks off altogether.

“These days in football nobody really switches off and they keep ticking over during the summer to keep themselves in good shape.”

Vokes will battle for a starting spot in attack with Ashley Barnes and new signing Jon Walters, a £2million acquisition from Stoke City.

But Vokes believes the move for 33-year-old Walters, who adds valuable experience, could be a crucial one.

“He’s brilliant, you can see that with the goals he’s scored so far and the energy that he brings,” he said of new boy Walters.

“I think he brings a different outlet to what we’ve got. We all feel good playing together in a partnership, depending on how we play as a unit.”

With Andre Gray having departed for Watford for £18m on the eve of the season, Burnley could yet further strengthen their forward line before the transfer window closes on August 31.

Vokes and Walters could face each other in international colours early in the season as well, with Wales and Ireland battling in a tight group for World Cup qualification, and the two sides meeting in Cardiff in October.

Vokes added: “It’s not long then until we play against half of our squad when we face Ireland on the final day.

“If we can pick up a few points before it it could make for a good night.”