BURNLEY defender Jimmy Dunne has joined Accrington Stanley on loan until the end of the season.

The former Manchester United youngster has yet to make an appearance for the Clarets first team but he impressed in a loan spell with National League side Barrow in the first half of this campaign.

The 20-year-old made 21 appearances for the Bluebirds, scoring two goals, to earn his first chance in the Football League, and the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international is keen to follow in the footsteps of countryman Kevin Long, who also enjoyed loan spells with Stanley before becoming a fixture at Burnley.

"It is a step up from Barrow and that's what I need. I have learnt a lot at Barrow and this is an opportunity for me to step into the League," Dunne said.

“It's a different kind of football, a different situation, as there was a lot of defending at Barrow, while Accrington are doing well in League Two.

“There will be more quality and it will be a faster pace of football.

“I spoke to Kevin Long, who was also on loan at Accrington and a number of other clubs. He is Irish, too, and he has gone on to make his international debut and play in the Premier League, so there is a pathway. He is someone I can look up to.”

Stanley boss John Coleman said he had monitoring Dunne's progress for a while.

“He has had half a season at Barrow and has done well,” said Coleman. “He did well at that level and now he is making the step up. It won’t be a shock to him.

”He fits the profile of our club and is the type of defender I want here.

“He is a solid defender, he is good in the air and we have been keeping an eye on him for a while.”