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Month's rest for Burnley's maturing Kiwi Howieson
CLARETS’ Olympian Cameron Howieson will not report back to Burnley until September, as manager Eddie Howe bids to avoid the young midfielder suffering burn-out following his international exploits.
The 17-year-old will embark on his first season as a professional, after being fast-tracked through the youth ranks towards the end of the first year of his youth team scholarship.
His performances for the Under 18s – notably in their run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals, reserve team games and latterly in the first team, after making his senior debut from the bench in April, were enough to encourage a call-up to the senior New Zealand squad this summer.
Howieson earned his first full international cap as a substitute in their friendly with El Salvador in Houston in May, going on to earn a further two caps.
It resulted in a call-up to the Kiwi's Olympic squad for London 2012, with Howieson going on to play in all three group games for the Oly Whites – including a 45-minute run-out against Brazil in their final match of the Games on August 1.
Burnley begin the 2012/13 season on Tuesday, with the Capital One Cup first round game at Port Vale, followed by the opening day derby with Bolton Wanderers next Saturday.
But Howe has instructed Howieson to take a break.
“We had a long discussion about Cameron. As much as we want him with us we’ve given him all of August off to recuperate,” said the Burnley boss. “You have to bear in mind his age and the amount of football he’s played.
“He’s gone back to New Zealand, and we feel for the lad’s benefit it’s the right thing to do for his future career, because when he does come back we want him to be flying and playing at full pelt.
“We felt there was a big risk of fatigue and burn-out if we’d have asked him to come back any sooner.”
But Howe believes he will welcome a more mature midfielder back into the fold on his return, despite his tender years.
“I had a brief chat with him after his involvement in the Olympics. He loved every minute of it and feels his game’s improved,” said the Burnley boss, who believes Howieson will have been inspired by playing against Brazil, whose team included Neymar, Pato and Sandro.
“It’s a great experience for him to play against that type of country and that calibre of player.
“The big thing will be the atmosphere and the number of people watching. That will only do him the world of good.
“It’s brilliant for him, and a real test for a young lad to be exposed to that to see how he responds and I thought he responded really well.
“There are real positive signs for him for the future.”
He added: “It will be great to have him back with us. Him and Stevie Hewitt are two really good players for the future and I'm hoping the pair of them can develop very quickly.”