Former Clarets Defender Set to Retire

Matthew Taylor Announces Retirement 

Matthew Taylor has this morning confirmed that he will retire at the end of the season, following a glittering playing career that has spanned 20 years. Swindon Town’s versatile left back has recorded more than 700 professional appearances since joining Luton Town has a trainee in the summer of 1998.

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Spells at Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United, Burnley and Northampton Town followed before the 37-year-old made the final move of his playing career when linking up with Swindon Town in the summer of 2017.

Seven years of study off the pitch has resulted in Taylor earning his UEFA Pro Licence badge in recent months, and he will now look to pass on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of footballers. It is currently unclear if he will remain a part of the Swindon Town coaching setup.

Speaking about his decision to hang-up his boots Matthew Taylor said, “After 20 years as a professional footballer, the time has come for me to retire at the end of the season. I have loved every minute from leaving school at 16 years of age to pursue my dream and will look back on it all with the fondest of memories.

To make just one appearances as a professional footballer was special, so to go on to play in more than 700 games makes me immensely proud. To all the managers and coaches I have worked with I thank you for the guidance and belief you showed in me. To the fans who have supported and followed my career, I hope I’ve given you some memories that looking back will make you smile.

To my wife and family, I can’t thank you enough for your love and support, as without you none of this would have been possible. We have had one hell of a journey and to have shared it with those I love the most has made it all that sweeter.”

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Burnley v Leicester City

Burnley 1 v 2 Leicester City (FA Premier League)

Leicester City arrived at a very wet and windy Turf Moor with the Clarets sitting just two points above the relegation zone, the match was a massive must win for the home side as they battle to stay in the Premier League.  The Clarets boss Sean Dyche made one change to the starting line-up with Johann Berg Gudmundsson coming into the team to replace Jeff Hendrick who dropped to the bench.

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Leicester City supporters arrived at Turf Moor this afternoon to find a brand new scarfs on their seats. The scarf was a free gift from the club chairman to mark the arrival of manager Brendan Rodgers and a “New Horizon” for the club.

The first talking point of the match came on four minutes as Johann Berg Gudmundsson is played through clear on goal, but is brought down by Harry Maguire who is shown a red card for a professional foul leaving the visitors down to ten men.

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From the resulting free-kick, Johann Berg Gudmundsson hits the post with a curling effort, whilst the visitors are forced into their first change of the afternoon with Wes Morgan replacing Demerai Gray.

On sixteen minutes, a big chance for Burnley to assert themselves in this game as Johann Berg Gudmundsson plays a lovely ball in towards Chris Wood. However the New Zealand International heads just wide of Schmeichel’s goal.

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Harvey Barnes looks dangerous every time he has the ball and unleashes a powerful shot from an acute angle on the edge of the Burnley box that sails just wide of the mark.

On thirty-three minutes, the visitors took the lead when James Maddison wins a free-kick after he’s brought down by James Tarkowski on the edge of the Burnley box.  Maddison took the free-kick and curled the ball into the top corner of Tom Heaton’s goal to make it 1-0 to Leicester City.

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On thirty-eight minutes, the Clarets drew level as a cross field pass found Dwight McNeil on the left-wing before playing a neat one-two with Charlie Taylor before firing a low shot past Leicester goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel to make it 1-1.

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In difficult conditions at Turf Moor, Wes Morgan plays a back pass to Leicester goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel who tries to clear but ends up conceding a corner. However the home side squandered the chance to put even more pressure on Leicester with two poor corners to leave the half-time score 1-1.

Burnley started the stronger in the second-half and twice in the opening ten minutes had a sight of Leicester goal.  Jack Cork side-footed over the ball over the visitors crossbar on fifty-three minutes following an excellent lay-off from Ashley Barnes.

Then just eight minutes later, with the Clarets setting the tone Ashley Westwood went close as he dragged a shot just wide of the goal as he looked to add another goal to his tally after getting his first against Liverpool a week ago.

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It was all Burnley as they banged at the door in their bid to add two more vital points and Taylor, who again kept driving forward impressively from left-back, thought he should have had a penalty when he burst into the box and was clipped by Wilfred Ndidi.

McNeil then flicked a Cork cross over the top as time began to run out and the teenager curled another effort off the top of the bar as Burnley pressed for a winner.

morgan

But rather than Burnley take all three points, it was Leicester City who struck at the death to earn a first away victory under new boss Brendan Rodgers as Morgan stayed up following a corner to head in a deflected cross from Youri Tielemans past Tom Heaton in the Clarets goal to make it 1-2.

But with substitute Matej Vydra being denied by Schmeichel and Leicester holding on from a corner which had brought Heaton up to add to the attacking numbers, there was to be no further drama as the Clarets were left too close for comfort to the bottom three.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Burnley - Anfield

Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “I’m obviously very disappointed and it was a strange game in many ways. When a team goes down to ten men so early it can feel strange unless you get a grip of the game straight away and we didn’t.

In the second half we corrected things and had a lot of the play, but those quality moments that you need to win a game weren’t close enough. You have to find those moments and often we question the defensive side of the team, but our attacking players have to find those moments as well. I will say it’s not easy to break down a team that set up 4-4-1.”

Match Details

Burnley – Heaton, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson, O’Neil, Barnes, Wood (Subs) Hart, Lowton, Gibson, Hendrick, Brady, Crouch, Vydra

Leicester City – Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chiwell, Gray, Tielemans, Ndidi, Barnes, Maddison, Vardy (Subs) Ward, Morgan, Fuchs, Mendy, Ghezzal, Okazaki, Iheanacho

Goals –  (Burnley) McNeil (38) (Leicester City) Maddison (33), Morgan (90)

Attendance – 20,719

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Former Bantam Rejoins Colne Football Club

Reece Webb-Foster Rejoins Colne Football Club

Colne Football Club have confirmed that they have signed striker Reece Webb-Foster until the end of the season. Webb-Foster started the current season at the Sovereign Stadium scoring five goals in ten appearances before joining Lancaster City in October 2018.

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Steven Cunningham’s side currently sit seventh in the Evo-Stik League Western Division with ten games left as Colne look to gain promotion to the Premier League.  The former Bradford City striker rejoins the club on a short term contract until the end of the season and will go straight into the first team squad.

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Clarets Youngster Joins Buxton On Loan

Clarets Midfielder Oscar Woods Joins Buxton On Loan

Buxton Football Club have this afternoon confirmed the signing of Oscar Woods on loan until the end of the season.  The academy midfielder was advised last week by the Clarets academy manager Jon Pepper that he was not being offer a professional contract by the club and he was free to find another club.

oscae woods

The Australian joined the Clarets in July 2017 on a two-year apprenticeship, however he still hasn’t featured for the Clarets since joining the club. The youngster is stil waiting on clearance from the FA to allow him to play competitive matches for Burnley. Despite not being able to play league games, Woods has featured in several friendlies throughout his time at the club.

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Clarets Defender Joins Lancaster City

Clarets Youngster Dan Moss Joins Lancaster City On Loan

Lancaster City have today confirmed the loan season of young Clarets defender Dan Moss on a work experience loan and he is expected to feature against Hyde United this Saturday.

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The Dollies have strengthened their defensive ranks with the powerful centre-back who has featured for both the U23 and U18 sides at Turf Moor this season.  The heart of the Lancaster City defence has been a troublesome area for boss Mark Fell with long term injury to Ben Hudson and Steve Williams now deciding to take a break from the game.

Paul Dugdale has recently acquitted himself superbly at centre half with Glenn Steel, but with Steele away for the next two games, Fell has brought in one of the Premier League clubs young starlets.

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Clarets Defender Retires From International Football

Stephen Ward Announces International Retirement

Burnley Football Club defender Stephen Ward has this morning announced his retirement from International football with the Republic of Ireland. The Clarets left-back was selected for Mick McCarthy’s first provisional squad earlier this month, however he has not made the final squad for upcoming qualifiers with Gibraltar and Georgia.

ward

Speaking about his decision to retire Stephen Ward said, “It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire from international football, to represent my country has been a dream come true and the biggest honour you can have in your career. Playing in a couple of major championships has been the highlight and the night we beat Italy at the 2016 Euros will live with me for the rest of my life.

I have been very proud to have played a part in those achievements and I feel this is a good time to move on. There are a lot of good young players and new talent coming through and I wish all of them, Mick McCarthy and the staff all the best for the future.  I’d like to thank everyone managers, players, backroom staff that I have worked with and the supporters and say it was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them.”

The Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy added, “I signed Stephen Ward first from Bohemians and worked with him at Wolves, and I’m kind of sad that I don’t get to work with him with Ireland but he’s made his decision and I can understand it.  He has had 50 caps and he can retire being proud of that achievement. I’m really proud to have worked with him because he was a really good player for me and for Ireland.

Even though we bought Wardy as a striker, I remember the day that I put him at left-back, at Charlton Athletic, and he was outstanding, and I kept picking him there after that. He’s had a really good career there and I’m sad to see him go but he wanted to be fair to me, fair to the other players, and fair to himself.”

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Northwich Victoria Manager Achieves Landmark Game

Steve Wilkes Football Manager – (1,000 Games In Charge)

When Steve Wilkes takes charge of Northwich Victoria this weekend he will become only the thirty-ninth manager in the history of world football to reach 1,000 games in charge as a football manager.  His name will be added to a list of managers that have achieved this remarkable landmark such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Matt Busby, Sir Bobby Robson, Brian Clough, Arsene Wenger, Graham Taylor, Harry Rednapp, Giovanni Trapatoni, Sven Goran Eriksson, John Toshack, Neil Warnock, Jim Smith, Jock Stein & Tony Pulis to name a few.

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A former professional footballer with his hometown club of Preston North End he signed his first team contract at Deepdale in 1987.  Wilkes later went on to play for Southport, Morecambe and Bamber Bridge before retiring in 1993. The move into management came five years later when he joined Darwen Football Club before spells with Padiham, Runcorn Linnets, Ashton Athletic and current club Northwich Victoria.  Below is the number of games that he has managed at each club.

Darwen Football Club      287
Padiham Football Club    448
Runcorn Linnets               130
Ashton Athletic                   49
Northwich Victoria            84

Speaking about this weekend the Northwich manager said, I’m really proud of reaching the milestone of 1000 games, it’s something not many managers will achieve no matter what level they’re managing at. I started at the age of twenty-nine years old and never thought I’d see out the first season, so to still be doing the job and loving the job is also something I’m proud of. It means the world to be able to join the 1000 club but the most important thing tomorrow is 3 points for Northwich Victoria Football Club.

It’s not often you get to report on something or someone who you know or have worked with and after working with Steve Wilkes for a short period of time at Padiham Football Club.  I can honestly say that you will not find a more hard-working, humble man in the game, a great manager that gives 100% to his Club, Board, Players and Supporters and reaching this landmark is fully deserved, well done mate.

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