BURNLEY want the club Academy to become a conveyor belt of talent to help aid the club’s recruitment policy.

The Clarets have seen winger Dwight McNeil graduate to the first team this season but, since Jay Rodriguez came through the ranks a decade ago, have struggled to produce players from within.

The club have invested heavily in their Academy in recent years in a bid to change that, with the aim of becoming a top level Category One facility.

The new training ground at Gawthorpe provides an environment for youngsters to succeed and the Clarets are beginning to see the fruits of their labour with the likes of Josh Benson and Ali Koiki having been involved in first team squads this season.

Steve Stone’s Under-23 side have enjoyed a successful season and possess players capable of breaking into Sean Dyche’s set-up in the future.

And Burnley Technical Director Mike Rigg believes a thriving youth system can prove a huge help in the transfer market.

“A big part is to go to Category 1 with the Academy,” said Rigg in explaining the club’s recruitment policy moving forward.

"We want to be one of the best Academies in the country, but we can't spend what Manchester City spend, so we've got to do what's right for us. If we get a Dwight McNeil in the team, or a Jimmy Dunne is (potentially) sold to Sunderland, that's achieved the objective.

"But becoming Cat 1 doesn't automatically keep you in the Premier League, it's what detail goes into that, so underneath that, it is ultimately about the first team - supplementing the first team squad with your Dwight McNeils, and hopefully more in the future, while also generating income from players we sell.

"What we're trying to do to analyse what we've got, and what we want.

"We're constantly talking, evaluating what we've got here, who is the next Dwight McNeil? So if we know what we've got, we have to plan the target list.”

Burnley’s target is to have 440 players at the club’s disposal across four categories – development, breakthrough, peak and twilight.

"We look at how to balance the squad, so we're trying to look at each position, 1-11, and trying to provide 10 options, across four sections - a list of 440 players who we are constantly searching for,” added Rigg.

"We've got Dwight right on the edge of breakthrough and peak, even though he's only 19, that kind of group is 16-21, peak is 21-30, and twilight 30-plus roughly.

"That's not to say Brighton get Glenn Murray, who's 35 or so and still does a great job. But you have to think about reinventing.

"All clubs want to bring players in young and cheap. Rafa Benitez was saying about Sean Longstaff after the game (against Burnley earlier this season).

“It's brilliant because he's young and cheap. Basically saying they haven't had to go out and spend £25m on a player, they've got someone from the Academy. So he ticks the quality box, and financially. And all clubs want to do the same.”