Burnley Football Club have this afternoon confirmed that former Burnley and England International defender John Angus has sadly passed away at the age of eighty-two. The former right-back died peacefully at home, Angus was a major player in a golden era for the Clarets, which culminated in the First Division Championship returning to Turf Moor for the second time in 1960.
The right back missed just one game in the title-winning season and to this day his total of 521 appearances, which sits proudly at the top of the list of any outfield player in the club’s history. Angus arrived at Turf Moor in 1954 and made his first team debut in September 56. Having swiftly established himself as first choice within two seasons, his undoubted ability earned him the first of seven England U23 caps, to add to his earlier youth cap.
One of the most accomplished and unflappable defenders in the club’s rich history, Angus was unfortunate to only win the one full England cap, largely due to the form of Blackpool rival Jimmy Armfield. That solitary senior appearance arrived in May 1962 when Angus, along with Turf Moor teammate and fellow title-winner Brian Miller, featured for England against Austria in Vienna.
Domestically, Angus starred for the Clarets in the 1962 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium and in the club’s two European campaigns of 1960/61 and 1966/67. He was still a first team regular when Burnley surrendered their top-flight status after 24 golden years in 1971, and finally retired at the end of the 1971/72 campaign, by which time he had been deposed at right back by Mick Docherty.
Angus’s long and established Burnley career was rewarded with a testimonial game at Turf Moor, days after the club were crowned Second Division Champions in 1973, when a crowd of 16,000 turned out to pay tribute to a man who devoted his entire professional career to the Clarets.
John Angus, played at the highest level in the English top-flight when both the Clarets and England (World Cup Winners 1966) were at their best in the 1960’s. John Angus who was a big fans favourite and a true Clarets Legend that will be missed by everyone at Turf Moor
How Brian Flynn Saved Welsh International Football
An excellent article written by Leon Barton looks at former Clarets midfielder Brian Flynn and how he has saved Welsh International football. From having never qualified for major football tournament in their history, Wales are preparing to play in their second successive European Championships. How did this turnaround happen, obviously there are a number of factors, but perhaps the key man in this story is Brian Flynn. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that the former Burnley and Leeds midfielder saved Welsh International football.
If you go back to 2003, having won their first four Euro 2004 qualifiers, Wales had failed once again in their quest to make it to a major tournament, losing in the play-offs match to a Russia team featuring at least one player pumped full of Bromantan, an anti-fatigue drug developed by the military during the cold war. Questionable opposition tactics aside, this was just the latest in a long line of failure.
In fact until 2015, Wales had never actually qualified outright for a major tournament. The nation only got to the 1958 World Cup Finals after getting drawn out of a hat to face Israel in an eminently winnable play-off tie (Israel’s Arab neighbours had refused to face them and FIFA decided they would have to play off against a European team to try and earn a place at the tournament). Wales weren’t even the first team drawn out of the hat for the play-offs, Belgium were, but they had too much pride to go to in those circumstances.
The team of 1974/75 that Brian Flynn came into is still the only time the Welsh seniors have ever topped a qualifying group (ahead of Austria, Hungary and Luxembourg) but in those days, the Euros were a much smaller affair. Wales reached the last eight but the quarter-finals only acted as a sort of playoff before the semi-finalists convened in one country. Yugoslavia triumphed 3-1 over two legs, making the last four ahead of Wales.
Flynn’s full debut came the year before in a home international match against Scotland in the City of Cardiff. The 19-year-old marked the occasion by netting in remarkable fashion finishing first-time following double one-two on a muddy Ninian Park pitch. It was his first goal as a professional, although the teenager had already made an impact in the top flight with Burnley, their visionary manager Jimmy Adamson considered by many to be the greatest English footballer never to win an international cap, placing much more emphasis on skill and intelligence than raw physicality.
Having said that, while just five-foot-four Flynn could mix it, he was terrier-like, loathe to give midfield opponents time on the ball to pick their passes whilst invariably making the right decisions when in possession himself. Flynn also had a decent eye for goal, famously scoring with a header against Brazil in 1983. Having had a stellar career himself, making 66 International appearances for Wales and with five top ten finishes in the top flight, alongside short-arse contemporaries such as Billy Bremner and Alan Ball meant the commonly-expressed cop-out of ‘you’re too small to make it’ unsurprisingly never left Flynn’s lips in twelve years of managing Wrexham and two years at Swansea City.
‘Ability, Attitude and Intelligence was the mantra and having been thrown in himself at a young age he was rarely afraid to give youngsters a chance. Numerous raw talents were brought through during his time in club management: Chris Armstrong, Karl Connolly and Leon Britton amongst them. This made Brian Flynn the obvious choice for senior team manager, John Toshack’s newly created role of Wales Intermediate Team Manager (coach for the under 21s, 19s and 17s in old money) in late 2004.
The former Liverpool striker was just one in a long list of great Welsh players to never qualify for a major tournament; John & Mel Charles, Ivor Allchurch, Jack Kelsey, Cliff Jones, Mike England, Leighton James, Terry Yorath, Neville Southall, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Kevin Ratcliffe, Gary Speed, Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy … I could go on.
Manager Mike England said in 1981, “There are about 24 players whom I would consider as suitable contenders in the whole of the league. If one of my players gets injured, it’s very hard to replace him.” Whilst Ian Rush discussed the issue of squad depth in 1995 saying, “The eternal problem for a small country like Wales with limited numbers of top-flight professional players, has invariably been in getting the balance right.” Craig Bellamy put it typically bluntly in 2001, “Over the years, Wales have been able to field a strong side when everyone is fit but there’s never been much below the surface. If we get injuries, we’ve had it. It’s not ideal.”
In 2004, things were looking bleak, the absence of injured & suspended players towards the end of the 2002 campaign such as Craig Bellamy, Simon Davies and Mark Pembridge had cost Wales dearly. The U21’s had recently five years (26 matches) between 1997 and 2002 without recording a single victory. This abysmal run had dragged expectations down below sewer level. “Wales played a truly outstanding game,” stated a piece in a match programme in 1999, describing an under-21 qualifier against Italy. A game the Italians had won 6-2. It’s fair to say there wasn’t exactly a ready-made conveyer belt of young talent just waiting to flood the senior team.
Flynn got to work on deepening the player pool, attacking his new job with gusto from day one. “You need at least 30 good players really,” he told me. “John Toshack always used to say the best players need good sparring partners.” In attending an average of 12 games a week, he was intent on building good relations with club coaches and making sure he was at least aware of as many Welsh qualified players as possible. This diligence paid off in spectacular fashion.
Look at the three goalscorers on the greatest night in Welsh football history, the quarter final versus Belgium at Euro 2016. Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes. All three were born and raised in England with Welsh grandparents. All three were brought into the Welsh set up by Brian Flynn following chance meetings and scattergun enquiries.
Another gear shift came in Flynn impressing the importance of a winning mentality. To this end, the roots of Wales’ success at Euro 2016 and beyond can be traced back to 2007. In the summer of that year, Flynn’s U21’s beat Sweden 4-3 away in a friendly. Eight of the players who played that day went to France nine years later: David Edwards, Sam Vokes, David Cotterill, Simon Church, Neil Taylor, Owain Fon Williams and two young debutants in the midfield, Joe Allen (17) and Aaron Ramsey (16). It was Allen who volleyed home the winning goal that day.
Three months later came the 4-2 victory over France at Ninian Park. Only 700 spectators were in the stadium, but having heard promising things about some of the teenagers in the squad, I went to my local pub in Cambridge (where I was living) and asked them to put the game on. I was the only one watching. The match was a revelation, with Ramsey and Allen particularly impressive. Welsh kids with the same level of technical ability as the best young footballers in France? Wow. Something’s happening here.
Wales ended up topping the group, but that only led to a playoff against England, one of Europe’s top nations at youth level. The matches were epic and evenly contested, but with the extra English experience of established Premier League stars such as James Milner and Mark Noble eventually proving decisive.
The following campaign included a hugely impressive and richly deserved victory over Italy. 2-1 but it could, indeed should, have been more. This would eventually prove costly, despite gaining the same number of points, having a better goal difference, scoring more goals and having a 2-2 aggregate record, it was the Azzurrini who went through on the head-to-head away goals rule. The one scored at the Liberty Stadium ironically by Alberto Paloschi, who had a spell with Swansea City in 2016 ultimately sent them through.
These near-misses would be painful for most managers but Flynn is remarkably sanguine about it all. There’s no bitterness, for his eyes were always on the much bigger prize of helping the senior team get to tournaments. As with Toshack, he was wise enough and experienced enough to know that very often the seeds you sow are more important than the flowers you can see. Whilst looking back on that era, Brian Flynn told former Wales International Owain Tudur Jones, “Those eight years will be good enough for the next fifteen years for Wales International Football.”
Clarets striker Chris Wood is wanted by three of Burnley Football Clubs Premier League rivals after hitting double figures in his four seasons at the club. The three clubs interested in signing Chris Wood in the summer transfer window are Aston Villa, West Ham United and Everton, with Villa boss Dean Smith seeing Wood as the ideal partner for England International striker Ollie Watkins and has put the Clarets striker on his transfer wish list.
West Ham United are also interested in the New Zealand forward, whilst Everton are monitoring the situation and are waiting to see if their new manager is keen on Wood before following up their interest in him. Villa are showing the strongest interest and they are lining up a number of transfer targets because they expect to lose Jack Grealish after the Euro’s to Manchester City.
Wood, has two years left on the Burnley contract that he signed in November 2019 and the Clarets would be loathe to lose such a key player. Every player ultimately has his price, the Clarets would fight hard to keep Wood, who was last season’s Player of the Year. Burnley would expect a transfer fee of around £30 Million for the striker, which would allow manager Sean Dyche some funds to find a replacement striker.
According to reports in the Sunday Mail, Burnley manager Sean Dyche is poised to sign a new contract extension at Turf Moor this week as four Premier League clubs seek to fill managerial vacancies. Dyche is ready to commit his future to Burnley Football Club in the next seventy-two hours unless there is an unexpected late approach from another club.
The new contract will see Dyche remain the longest-serving manager in the top flight having been appointed in 2012 and it is a real coup for the clubs owner Alan Pace, who purchased the club last season and will include an increased buy-out clause to ward off suitors. As Dyche is effectively about to be taken off the market, Nuno Espirito Santo has emerged as the key figure as to who will be appointed elsewhere.
Everton are holding discussions this weekend about who to replace Carlo Ancelotti with Nuno having supporters within the Goodison Park boardroom, though former owner Bill Kenwright would prefer a British manager with strong roots to the club like David Moyes or Duncan Ferguson. Whilst Crystal Palace have also been impressed with Nuno and will seek a decision from the Portuguese manager soon with Eddie Howe, Steve Cooper and Frank Lampard all getting backing.
Tottenham are the most relaxed club at the moment despite halting negotiations with Antonio Conte believing they have wrapped a deal with their next manager. Belgian boss Roberto Martinez, who wants to take a job in the Premier League after the Euros, is among the favourites with Mauricio Pochettino and Erik Ten Hag. Wolves are expected to confirm the appointment of former Benfica coach Bruno Lage this week after he was granted a work permit by The FA.
A host of clubs including Burnley, Norwich City, Stoke City, Barnsley, Cardiff City and Swansea City have asked Liverpool Football Club about taking the Wales International right-back Neco Williams on loan next season.
Williams, who is currently with Wales for the UEFA European Championships but his club future is up for discussion having only made six Premier League appearances. Despite the lack of Premier League matches, Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the young defender and is happy to consider a loan spell away from Anfield to give the full-back some much needed league experience.
Newly promoted Norwich City see Williams as an option should they lose Max Aarons this summer. However, the Clarets are also believed to have asked to be kept informed over the talented full-back’s future. There is also interest from a number of Sky Bet Championship.
Reports from Copenhagen suggest that both Burnley and Crystal Palace are interested in signing defender Victor Nelsson who is looking for a summer move to the Premier League and his current club Copenhagen won’t stop the highly rated defender from moving to the Premier League. Copenhagen simply can’t afford to stop Nelsson leaving the Danish capital this summer, with a substantial cash windfall offsetting the departure of arguably the finest centre-half in the Superliga.
Victor Nelsson is a target for Sean Dyche and it’s understood the defender sees a move to the Premier League as the logical next step in his development. The Clarets may have an advantage over Crytsal Palace, with some reports saying the Denmark International does not want to join Crystal Palace until they have confirmed the new manager.
The Denmark U21 International is one of a number of centre-halves on the Clarets transfer list as Burnley boss Sean Dyche prepares for life at Turf Moor without Leicester City target James Tarkowski. The Clarets are viewing a number of central defenders including Stoke City players Nathan Collins and Harry Souttar as well as Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall.
Former Clarets Midfielder Appointed Bradford City Boss
Derek Adams Named Bradford City Manager
Bradford City Football Club have today confirmed the appointment of Derek Adams as the club’s new first-team manager. Adams has put pen to paper on a three-year contract at the Utilita Energy Stadium, after the Bantams agreed a compensation package with his former club Morecambe Football Club.
Having taken over at the Mazuma Stadium (Morecambe) in November 2019, the Scotsman has guided the Lancashire club to victory in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final earlier this week against Newport County. A 1-0 triumph after extra-time at Wembley Stadium which saw Morecambe Football Club reach the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. He also led Plymouth Argyle to promotion from Sky Bet League Two in 2017, having won both Scottish Second Division (2008) and First Division (2012) titles with Ross County where he began his managerial career.
Speaking about his appointment Derek Adams said, “Today is a great day for me, this is a fantastic football club to come to and we have a big opportunity to try and earn promotion. Next season my aim is to take us beyond this division and into Sky Bet League One. That is the pressure I put on myself, wherever I go I try to handle that pressure as well as I can. We have passionate supporters at the club, the Bradford City fanbase is fantastic and was a big pull for me to come here. They want their manager to share the same passion which is what I am here to do.
We want to be a team that plays on the front foot and excites people when they come here and hopefully, next season we can get the supporters back to Valley Parade and have the place bouncing. Throughout my managerial career, it has always important to win, gain promotions and find yourselves in a higher position than you were the previous season. We all know Bradford City finished in the bottom half of the table last year. Now, we will aim to be in the promotion picture. That is what I am here to do.”
York City Knights 18 v 20 Castleford Tigers (Betfred Women’s Super League)
Having lost to York City Knights last weekend in the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup semi final, Castleford Tigers were looking for revenge as the two teams met again this weekend at Weetwood Sports Centre in the Betfred Women’s Super League. The York City Knights made a number of changes looking forward to the Challenge Cup Final next weekend, this included playmaker Kelsey Gentles, whilst Castleford Tigers also had a key player missing in Shona Hoyle through injury.
It was a very even start to the match as both teams enjoying a good amount of possession whilst creating a number of chances in attack. On seven minutes, Castleford should have taken the lead when Eva Izumi broke down the left wing before passing the ball to Roche but unfortunately she knocked the ball on just in front of the try line.
On ten minutes, the visitors opened the scoring as Jasmine Cudjoe identified a numbers advantage on the left hand side of the field. Having worked the ball across the pitch a late pass to Hollie Dodd who scored in the left corner to make the score 4-0. Tara Jane Stanley missed the conversion kick and failed to add to the score.
York City Knights then came back into the game and were close to getting onto the score sheet but for the excellent defensive set from Castleford. As the Knights got to within ten meters of the line on their fifth tackle, the Knights kicked the ball over the line and chased for a try, but the ball ran out of play handing the ball back to Castleford Tigers.
The Knights drew level on twenty minutes, when a penalty for an apparent strip of the ball gave York City some good ball position. Castleford defence keep the Knights out near the line holding up Rhiannion Marshall. However, on the next set Sinead Peach found a big gap in the Castleford defensive line and she went over the line to make it 4-4. Rhiannion Marshall missed the conversion to leave the scores level.
Castleford Tigers extended their lead on thirty-four minutes, as the Tigers worked the ball to the left-hand side of the pitch were Hollie Dodd was left one-on-one. However, despite the valiant defensive effort from Tamzin Renouf it was Dodd’s that cross the line to make the score 4-8. Tara Jane Stanley stepped up to take the conversion but once again she was unable to add to the scoreline.
Castleford Tigers extended their lead just four minutes later, as the ball was worked out to the right hand side were Kaitlin Varley collected the ball before going over the line in the corner to make the score 4-12. Tara Stanley sent the conversion wide of the posts to leave the half time score 4-12.
After an inspirational half-time team talk by the York City Knights management team the squad made an instant impact and scored a try in the first minute of the second-half. The Knights collected the ball from kick-off, after the bounce went in favour of the home side worked the ball well and found Rhiannion Marshall who crashed over the line to score closing the gap to 8-12. But, Marshall missed the conversion to leave the score unchanged.
Castleford restarted the match with the kick-off which this time lead to an error by York City Knights which allowed the Tigers to collect the ball near the line. Georgia Roche goes to the short side twice and on the second attempt she managed to slide over the try line to score in the corner. It was not a great day for kicking and the conversion was missed again leaving the score 8-16.
This was now turning into an outstanding rugby league match as York City Knights scored another try just five minutes later. Some incredible footwork from Rhiannon Marshall as she worked her way to the line to score another try, she then added the conversion to make the score 14-16.
On sixty-eight minutes, the Knights looked to have taken the lead as Sinead Peach makes an excellent run from dummy half through the Castleford defence before going over the try line. However, the referee made a controversial decision and said no try due to a knock-on before awarding the ball to Castleford for a new set behind their own twenty meter line.
Just two minutes later, Tara Jane Stanley collected the ball before running around sixty meters before handing the ball off to Lucy Eastwood who completed the move going over the try line in the corner to make the score 14-20. Stanley missed the conversion to leave the score unchanged with just ten minutes left in the match.
York City Knights were now putting the visitors under massive pressure as they looked to score a try to bring the score leave. On seventy and seventy-three minutes the home side worked the ball to the try line, but some excellent defensive work from the Tigers kept the Knights out on both occasions.
On seventy-five minutes, York City Knights received back-to-back sets near the Castleford try line. Some excellent play led to Alisha Clayton powering over by the whitewash to score bring the score to 18-20. The Knights needed to make the conversion to bring the scores level, but Ellie Hendry put the pressure kick wide of the post leaving the Tigers in front.
Unfortunately, Castleford Tigers Lucy Eastwood was injured in the move which lead to the Clayton try. Having made the initial tackle she was trapped on the bottom of the pile as a number of players went over for the try and as the players moved away it was clear that Eastwood had a serious head or neck injury. Eastwood received around twenty minutes medical attention from the club doctor and physio, before being stretched off and taken to hospital for further treatment.
Castleford Tigers showed excellent game management in the last five minutes of the match as they controlled the ball, winning a number of new sets inside the York City Knights half and by keeping the ball it meant the Knights were unable to score and the visitors went onto win the match 18-20. This match was an excellent advert for Women’s Rugby League, the match had drama, tension, emotion and there were a number of players on both sides had outstanding performance including Alisha Clayton, Ellie Hendry, Sinead Peach, Rhiannion Marshall, Tara Jane Stanley and Georgia Roche
York City Knights will now turn their attention to the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final as they prepare to face St Helens in Leigh next weekend. It would be an outstanding achievement for the Knights to win the Challenge Cup Final against a strong St Helens side especially after all of the changes to the playing staff over the last month.
Settle Cricket Club v Ribblesdale Wanderers Cricket Club (20/20 Group 2)
Ribblesdale Wanderers Cricket Club arrived at Marshfield yesterday for the first fixture in the Ribblesdale Cricket League 20/20 (Group Two) match against Settle Cricket Club. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first on a warm but overcast evening in Yorkshire.
Ribblesdale Wanderers captain and wicketkeeper Ryshon Williams opened the batting alongside Eddie Steinson as the visitors made a strong start to the game. The first wicket of the evening was that of Steinson who made seventeen runs from sixteen balls, which included three (4’s) before being caught by Simon Tarbox off the bowling of Eddy Read.
Andrew Needham was next to the crease for the visitors as he looked to build a strong partnership with captain Ryshon Williams. As the pair started to add some runs to the visitors total with Needham scoring a couple sixes before Williams was caught by Alex Gould off the bowling of Ashen Silva for eleven runs.
Mack Spencer was next into bat for Ribblesdale Wanderers, but his time at the crease was short-lived as he was bowled for a golden duck by Dante Niles. This brought Bilal Ahmed to the crease, but his time in the middle only last an over before he was caught and bowled by Dante Niles for two runs.
Ribblesdale Wanderers then had another good spell as new batsman Gary Barker joined Andrew Needham in the middle, as the pair added some much needed runs to the visitors total. However, just as the two batsmen started to take control Needham was caught by Will Davidson off the bowling of Tom Davidson having made forty-five runs from thirty five balls, which included three (6’s) and one (4).
Callum Spink-Baines joined Barker at the crease with just three overs remaining in the visitors innings, as both players started to look for the big scoring shots. Unfortunately Barker was dismissed attempting another big shot, when he was caught by Dante Niles from the bowling of Tom Davidson. Barker made thirty-one runs from twenty-one balls which included two (6’s) and one (4).
Jordan Britcliffe, who had joined Callum Spink-Baines at the crease in the final over went on to make three runs from five balls, whilst Callum Spink-Baines was dismissed (run-out) off the final ball of the innings by Ben Hulse. Leaving the visitors Ribblesdale Wanderers on 124 for 7 from their twenty overs.
Settle Cricket Club started their innings looking to make 125 runs (6.25) an over to win the first 20/20 match of the season. Alex Gould and Will Davidson opened the batting for the home side and went straight on the attack, scoring over ten runs in the opening over.
After making an excellent start to the innings scoring twenty-five runs from just thirteen balls. Alex Gould was caught behind by Ryshon Williams off the bowling of Ian Britcliffe, his innings included two (4’s) and one (6). Ashen Silva (club professional) was next to the crease as he looked to build a partnership with captain Will Davidson.
It was the skipper that lost his wicket next after an outstanding knock with the bat, making sixty runs off just thirty balls which included seven (4’s) and three (6’s). Will Davidson was finally caught by George Kerr off the bowling of Ryshon Williams.
Tom Davidson was next in the middle for the home side as he looked to continue the fast run rate, scoring a quick fire fifteen from just eighteen balls. He was also finally caught by George Kerr off the bowling of Ryshon Williams. It was left to Ashen Silva and Dante Niles to complete the home sides innings, with both players finishing not out as Settle Cricket Club reached 125 for 3 wickets winning the match by seven wickets.
Settle Cricket Club – Gould, West, Silva, T.Davidson, Tarbox, Niles, W Davidson, Read, Sumner, Hulse, Snowden
Oli McBurnie Interesting Steven Gerrard At Glasgow Rangers
Ex-Bradford City and current Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie is a summer target for Scottish Premiership Champions Glasgow Rangers, McBurnie looks set to depart Bramall Lane following relegation from the Premier League is valued at around £15 Milllon.
Should the transfer go ahead the move would cost Sheffield United around £5M after they signed McBurnie from Swansea City for £20M two years ago. McBurnie, who is a Rangers supporter, scored just once in twenty-seven appearances for Sheffield United last season. A move to join Steven Gerrard’s squad at Ibrox would be a real bonus for Old McBurnie who is set to miss Scotland’s European Championship campaign this summer with a fractured metatarsal.
A number of first-team regulars are expected to leave the Yorkshire club as they undergo a reboot following a doomed second year in the Premier League. Sander Berge is attracting interest, while Norwich City are keeping tabs on full back Jayden Bogle if highly-rated Max Aarons moves away from Carrow Road.