SAM Vokes is looking forward to kicking off Burnley’s pre-season fixture list in Ireland this week.

After a week of training in the south of the country the Clarets take to the pitch for the first time this summer against League of Ireland champions Cork City at Turners Cross on Friday (7pm).

Burnley are returning to Cork having enjoyed a successful, but demanding, training camp there in Sean Dyche’s first pre-season at the back in 2013.

Vokes was part of the squad for that visit and it proved to be a worthwhile exercise, with the Clarets going on to secure promotion from the Championship in 2013/14.

And the Wales striker believes there are plenty of positives to a week away, as Burnley return to Ireland for the second summer in a row, having been based just outside Dublin a year ago.

“There’s a lot of benefits. It builds up to the game on Friday night against Cork where the lads need to get the minutes in,” Vokes said.

“It’s good to get all the lads together in a close environment, with all the facilities you need, the pitches, the gym and everything around us to put the work in you need for pre-season.”

The trip to Cork five years ago is remembered for a punishing day of physical tests and activities, including carrying huge tyres across a pitch in teams.

The fitness levels built up certainly proved key during the season and Vokes believes the facilities make it a good place to get started.

“You’ve got a lot of work that the lads do off the pitch, in the gym, all the facilities we need are at the hotel,” he said.

“On the pitch it’s a good facility, I think it was my first pre-season here five or six years ago, so we’ve been there before and it’s a good place to get the work done.”

Friday’s opponents are in Champions League qualifying action on Tuesday night when they host Legia Warsaw, while Friday’s game comes less than two weeks before the first leg of Burnley’s Europa League second qualifying round tie with Aberdeen.

The European commitments before the end of July mean the Clarets’ competitive games schedule starts early this year, which puts an added emphasis on players building minutes up quickly.

“It’s nice to get a game in,” Vokes said. “I don’t know what the plan is but it’s normally 45 minutes and two separate teams at the stage of pre-season, but with the mindset that we want to build up for 90 minutes at Aberdeen, so it all starts there really.”