BURNLEY earned a special hat-trick at the Professional Footballers’ Association Awards night in London.
Kieran Trippier, Jason Shackell and Danny Ings were all voted into the PFA Championship team of the year – the first time the Clarets have had more than two players included in the combined end of season XI since the awards were first launched in the 1970s.
For Trippier, it is the second time in a row that he has been named best right back in the division by his peers.
And he has added the accolade to a long list of highlights in the Clarets’ promotion winning season.
“It’s a proud moment for me. That’s two years on the bounce now and I’m just delighted to be in it again.
“I thank everyone who voted for me,” said Trippier, who said team-mates Shackell and Ings were well worthy of inclusion, but feels they were not the only ones who could have been named, such has been the level of consistency this season in Burnley clinching automatic promotion as runners up.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it,” added Trippier of the elation he experienced as the final whistle against Wigan Athletic confirmed the Clarets were Premier League bound.
“Obviously it is my first promotion but I was absolutely speechless.
“Getting promoted has been remarkable for everyone. To be in the Premier League next year is a huge achievement for everyone involved with the team,” said the former Manchester City youngster, who is thrilled to be returning to the Etihad with Burnley next season having enhanced his reputation as one of the best players in the Championship.
He credits manager Sean Dyche with the improvements in his performance which have allowed him to retain his position in the division’s XI.
“I was disappointed with some parts of my performance last season but the manager has come in and helped me so much with my all round game,” he said.
“I feel I’ve done well this year.”
Of the trio’s recognition in the team of the year, boss Dyche said: “It’s another fantastic marker of a great season to have three players chosen by their peers to be in the team of the year.
“It’s a great achievement for the players, and testament to what the entire squad has achieved this season.
“I can only imagine it was a close vote for a number of others in our team. If you could look at the vote count, you would probably see there would be a few more of our team that would be close to getting in as well.”
Leighton James was the first Claret to receive PFA recognition in 1974/75, when he was an ever-present for Burnley in the old Division One The Clarets have had two PFA team representatives on three previous occasions: Brian Flynn/ Billy Hamilton (1983/84), Gary Parkinson/David Eyres (1996/97), Steve Davis/Glen Little (1999/2000).