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Burnley Football Club ban academy players from school games
4:11pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
A ROW has erupted after Burnley Football Club banned some of its academy players from playing for their schools.
Academy boss Jason Blake has written to the parents of players of secondary school age to tell them that they can no longer represent their school, county, representative or district team.
In the letter the Clarets said that they were taking this step to ‘enable the academy to manage the physical stress that each player is exposed to throughout the season’.
But Mike Duffy, former secretary of the Lancashire Schools Football Association (LSFA) and now their senior advisor, said the move had angered schools.
He said the LSFA had enjoyed a good relationship with Burnley over the years, but the move had been been ‘brewing for a while’.
“This letter just seems misguided and quite dismissive,” he said. “My first reaction was one of disbelief.
“There needs to be a middle ground where common sense prevails. Boys can be kept out of games that don’t really matter but they shouldn’t be denied the chance to play for their schools and with their mates.
“This is basically treating the boys as commodities, and it is not right that they should be treated that way.” In the letter to parents Mr Blake said: “The academy programme is tailored to meet the individual needs of each player... However, we are unable to control the physical demands or the target outcomes of external fixtures.”
Phil Cannon, who runs the academy at Blackburn Rovers, said its policy remained flexible: “Obviously we must avoid burnout but we tailor plans for each player.”