Willie Irvine: A Clarets summer of excitement
4:00pm Wednesday 7th May 2014 in Sport
WELL it was always going to be a close call for Player of the Year.
Looking back at the promotion season the squad from the start has been tremendous and it was a difficult task to single one out.
Sam Vokes scooped double honours at the supporters’ clubs’ event and the official club end of season awards.
Up until injury he’d had such a great season, but I’m sure Sam would agree that the honours could have gone to any one of his team-mates. Everyone has played their part and together they have given the town a great lift.
That was evident on Sunday for the open top bus parade as thousands lined the streets, from the Town Hall to Turf Moor, to salute their heroes.
For some, it was a happy ending to their Clarets careers, with David Edgar, Brian Stock, Keith Treacy and goalkeeper Nick Liversedge all released at the end of their contracts.
These are the harsh decisions a manager has to make but I am grateful we have Sean Dyche making them. He has been a key figure this season and I trust him to help us have a good go at the top flight next season.
We have a manager who believes in his players, and I just hope that the club can back him enough in the Premier League to add reinforcements. I’m looking forward to the visits of sides like Manchester United, City, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal again.
These days will awaken my memories of my own time in the claret and blue.
I’m sure the fans will be looking forward to the new season just as much already judging by the number of season tickets already sold, and I’m sure there’ll be more to come over the summer months.
It’s encouraging to see the club linked with quality players as we prepare for the top flight, with Michael Kightly likely to stay following his season-long loan from Stoke and his late influence in us sealing promotion.
Troy Deeney has also been linked with a move to Turf Moor – another goalscorer who I feel could develop a good partnership with Danny Ings, and once Sam Vokes returns to fitness then that is some serious competition up front alongside Ashley Barnes too.
If I had to highlight one man as Player of the Year it would be Ings.
He has shown his quality this season, hence why he was named the Football League’s Championship Player of the Year and in the PFA Championship team of the year, as well as gaining England Under 21 honours.
He will thrive on the challenge of Premier League football next season. I believe it will be a great journey for everyone.
The excitement in the town is electric, and long may it stay that way.
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