Clarets head for Scotland

Last updated : 19 July 2008 By Tony Scholes
Queen of the South celebrate reaching the Scottish Cup Final

Although we entertained Dundee United in a pre-season game four years ago this will be the first time we have ventured north of the border since 1994 when Jimmy Mullen took his newly promoted team to play Falkirk in a game that ended 1-1 with Liam Robinson scoring the goal.

A trip to Scotland was always on the cards once Owen Coyle had been appointed manager and he's chosen games against two sides whose managers are friends of his and one against the club he was with this time last year.

Queen of the South come first, just over the border in Dumfries and we are playing a side that ended last season in fourth place in the Scottish First Division, but one in which they reached the Scottish Cup Final before losing to Rangers 3-2. That's taken them into the UEFA Cup and they await news of their opponents with the draw being made at the beginning of August.

The Doonhamers have played two games in Scotland whilst we've been in America. They recorded a 5-0 win over Scottish League new boys Annan Athletic and followed that up with a 3-0 success over Ayr United.

Last season's top goalscorer Stephen Dobbie has been amongst the goals again with two against Annan and one more in the Ayr win, he's a player well known to Owen Coyle who was his manager at St. Johnstone.

Manager Gordon Chisholm said yesterday. "I'm quite happy with the way we've started, scoring eight goals in two games and not conceding, although we are expecting a tough game against Burnley. They are a good side and it will be a good test for us to see where we are.

"Training has been going well and the lads came back in good condition, so we are looking forward to playing Burnley in what should be a good game. It always takes a wee while, but the new players have settled in well, although Jamie Adams is a week down on pre-season training. Stewart Kean has started nicely, scoring in both games so far, and I'm very pleased to have brought in goalkeeper Bryn Halliwell who won a first division championship medal last season."

Owen Coyle and the Burnley squad arrived back in England on Thursday morning but he's ready for these games. "It's a trip we are looking forward to and it will be nice to see some familiar faces again," he said.

"The work doesn't stop, but we knew when we set out it was going to be difficult. The boys have worked ever so hard and that's been pleasing, we are looking stronger in terms of fitness. The aim is to get the lads ready for August 9th and that's what we want to continue to do."

Burnley will be taking the full squad to Scotland and Coyle will select from that at Palmerston Park. That could mean a Burnley debut for new goalkeeper Diego Penny who arrived in England yesterday afternoon, whilst Burnley fans travelling will be hoping to get a first look at the other signings Christian Kalvenes, Kevin McDonald, Martin Paterson and Remco van der Schaaf.

The squad is: 1 Diego Penny, 2 Graham Alexander, 3 Christian Kalvenes, 4 Michael Duff, 5 Clarke Carlisle, 6 Steven Caldwell, 7 Kevin McDonald, 8 Joey Gudjonsson, 9 Ade Akinbiyi, 10 Martin Paterson, 11 Wade Elliott, 12 Brian Jensen, 14 Steve Jones, 16 Chris McCann, 17 Gabor Kiraly, 18 Alan Mahon, 19 Jay Rodriguez, 20 Robbie Blake, 22 Bes Berisha, 23 Stephen Jordan, 25 Adam Kay, 26 Remco van der Schaaf, 27 Alex MacDonald.

And finally, Brian Murphy the chairman of the Queen of the South fan club will be missing the game but he's got a good reason, he's getting married. When he learned he would be missing this game he came up with the idea of having a special badge for the game which will include both club's badges along with the date of the game, his wedding day. Proceeds from the sale will go to youth development, a worthy cause for them.

Our best wishes to the happy couple.