The Clarets yesterday announced a formal partnership with Cary U23 PDL team ‚Äď who are to be re-branded as Cary Clarets ‚Äď and Next Level Academy from North Carolina.
An initial two-year deal is aimed at developing Academy-based and first-team players for Burnley, who in turn have pledged to provide full backing to the Cary Clarets in the shape of sharing training methods, aiding youth development and helping to establish the Cary brand.
Martin Dobson, Burnley‚Äôs Head of Youth Development, told the Lancashire Telegraph: ‚ÄúI‚Äôve coached in America and the talent is there. Football is getting stronger all the time.
‚ÄúAmerican sports are very aggressive, but football is more to do with skill and that‚Äôs what more kids are interested in.
‚ÄúThey want to play football and more parents are encouraging them to play football.
‚ÄúIn America, the foundations are in place for kids to play football at every age group, from eight upwards to 19.
‚ÄúBut the problem is in the upper scene ‚Äď getting into the professional game. Whereas we have a strong system in England, it is quite weak in America. That‚Äôs where we are looking to benefit.‚ÄĚ
It is not the first instance that an English club have forged links with a US-based ‚Äėfeeder club‚Äô, with Stoke City affiliated with USL First Division outfit Austin Aztecs.
And Burnley‚Äôs operational director Brendan Flood is confident that the club‚Äôs cross-Atlantic partnership will bear fruits over the coming years.
‚ÄúThere is no doubt that Cary has an exceptional college set-up in the United States that we can hopefully tap into,‚ÄĚ said Flood.
‚ÄúThe standard of players their Academy produces is high and we hope that working with Cary we can help both organisations to prosper.‚ÄĚ