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East Lancs rivals pull together in Kiwi cause
5:46pm Thursday 26th July 2012 in Tim Payne
ON December 1 this year and March 16 2013, Tim Payne and Cameron Howieson will be in rival football camps when Blackburn Rovers and Burnley do battle in the East Lancashire derbies.
But, for now, the duo are putting up a united front to help New Zealand to Olympic glory.
Rovers striker Payne and Clarets midfielder Howieson were this summer called up to represent their country at London 2012.
And officials at both clubs believe the experience can only have a positive influence on their future careers.
Blackburn Rovers’ development team manager Gary Bowyer labelled Payne’s call-up a “fantastic achievement”, while Burnley boss Eddie Howe believes 17-year-old Howieson’s inclusion in the Oly Whites’ squad can move him a step closer to the Clarets first team.
Both have already made their full international debuts.
“As well as being a great achievement for him, it is also great for Blackburn Rovers. We are very proud of having a representative in the Olympics, as I’m sure his family are very proud of him as well,” said Bowyer of 18-year-old Payne, who was born in Auckland.
“What a fantastic opportunity for the lads and a fantastic achievement by him to be involved in the squad at his age.
“The Olympics will give him that experience of the big occasion. There is no bigger sporting event than the Olympics and he is experiencing that, so it has to stand him in good stead for the future.
“We will be watching his progress and cheering New Zealand on when they play - as long as they are not playing England of course.”
Burnley youth team coach Terry Pashley was confident after just one glimpse of Howieson that the young attacking midfielder will have the world at his feet.
The Dunedin-born teenager was sent to England for trials from the Asia Pacific Football Academy.
“Cammy went to Chelsea first but obviously he wasn’t quite what they were looking for,” said Pashley.
“After 20 minutes we knew we wanted to sign him.
“If I get the chance I’d love to go and watch him in the Olympics. Hopefully it shouldn’t be a problem to get tickets.”