KEVIN Long will be on familiar territory when Burnley kick-off their pre-season campaign at Cork City tomorrow night.

The Clarets centre back grew up five minutes from the Rebel Army's Turners Cross ground and began his career with his hometown club.

Long made just 17 appearances for City before moving to Turf Moor in January 2010 as a promising 19-year-old.

He was part of the Burnley squad that came to Cork in 2013 and he featured in the friendly then, but now he returns as a Republic of Ireland international, with 16 Premier League starts to his name last season.

Long will be cheered on by friends and family on Friday night and the locals are proud of what this hometown boy has gone on to achieve.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph from Burnley's Fota Island base in Cork, Long said: "It’s nice to come back here, it’s beautiful weather, the facilities are nice.

"During the game on Friday I’ll have quite a few friends and family here. All my family still live in Cork, all my mates growing up are from Cork.

"Coming back all my mates and my family are more buzzing for me than I am, they’re all dead proud and looking forward to the game.

"I think people in Cork are proud of what I’ve achieved, the last few years quite a few players from Cork have made their way to the national team and to the Premier League and the Championship, in the past I don’t think that was a case."

Long came through the ranks at Turners Cross before crossing the Irish Sea to begin his career with the Clarets.

He used to watch his local club when he could and Cork have enjoyed success recently, claiming the League of Ireland title last season.

They were in action at Turners Cross on Tuesday night, playing in front of a 6,000 sell-out crowd as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Legia Warsaw in a Champions League qualifying tie.

"I really enjoyed my time there, I grew up five minutes from the stadium so playing for Cork City at that time was a big deal for me," Long said.

"I used to go and watch the games when I was younger, so to go out and play for them was a good feeling.

"Growing up when there were games at Turner’s Cross I’d go and watch, they’re a great club and they've got great support for a League of Ireland side.

"The League of Ireland in the last few years has picked up again, the standard has become really good so I think you’re going to see more young lads get a chance and be able to move over to England with a good base behind them."