IRISHMAN Danny Lafferty is relishing top flight football, after signing the three-year contract he was offered by the Clarets.

The left back’s deal was up for renewal after Burnley won promotion to the Premier League.

And although the defender started only 10 league and cup games last season – making just 12 appearances in total – manager Sean Dyche sees him as an important member of the squad going forward.

"It's very exciting for me to have signed a new contract and I'm quite flattered by it to be honest,” said Lafferty, who is on international duty with Northern Ireland.

“I didn't play as much as I'd like this season, and only about 40 times since I've been at the club, so for the manager to turn around and give me three years, as a player with no Premier League experience, was a boost.

"There are guys who played a lot more than me this year who've been let go, so for the manager to show that faith in me is very nice and I want to repay that on the pitch in the next few years.

"In pre-season, I want to be competing and fighting for my place."

Lafferty, who signed for the Clarets from Derry City in January 2012, is preparing for Northern Ireland’s international friendlies with Uruguay on Friday then Chile on Wednesday.

Luis Suarez is absent through injury for Uruguay, but of the prospect of facing the Liverpool striker in the Premier League next season Lafferty said: "I'm not sure if the reality of playing in the Premier League has fully sunk in yet.

"I'll be pinching myself when I do. To walk out at Old Trafford or Anfield would be unbelievable considering where I was three years ago.

"It will be an amazing experience to get the chance of playing in those kind of arenas against some top-class opponents.”