TOM Heaton is relishing the extra competition provided by Matt Gilks this season after putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract at Burnley.
Heaton has followed Ben Mee by extending his deal at Turf Moor, committing his future under the summer of 2017.
The goalkeeper still had a year left to run on his contract, plus the option for another season, but has earned an extended deal after impressing since joining Burnley on a free transfer from Bristol City last summer.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche brought in Matt Gilks last month to provide increased competition in the goalkeeping area.
Burnley already have Alex Cisak on their books, and Gilks has Premier League experience from his time with Blackpool.
But Heaton is comfortable with the extra competition for the number one spot, and intends to rise to the challenge.
“That’s what you want, you want every position being competed for and I’m certainly looking forward to the challenge,” the 28-year-old said.
“It’s part and parcel. Obviously it was the same last year with Alex Cisak and Nick Liversedge.
“Now Gilksy has come in and he’s a fantastic goalkeeper with a lot of experience. Al did very well last season too.”
Heaton is yet to feature in pre-season following a minor groin injury but Dyche has no concerns about the keeper being fit for the opening game of the campaign at home to Chelsea on August 18.
The former Manchester United youngster cannot wait for the season to start.
“There is certainly a lot of excitement from me and the other players, we’re looking forward to getting started,” Heaton said.
“I’m quietly confident that we’ll do well.
“When I left Manchester United a few years ago the aim was to get back to the Premier League and be playing.
“That aim has certainly not changed for me and to do it is obviously great.
“But now it is down to business and giving a real good go of it.”
“It’s great to be a part of it here, and I’m looking forward to hopefully being a big part of it going forward.
“I feel that personally I have got more to come and I’m really excited to show that here.”
The Clarets are aiming to add to their squad before the start of the season and are still attempting to persuade West Bromwich Albion to part with Craig Dawson, after lining up an improved £2m bid for the centre back.
Entrance to Burnley’s two home friendles, against Celta Vigo on Tuesday and Verona on August 9, will be by ticket only.
Supporters are urged to purchase in advance to avoid long queue at the ticket office on matchday.