Former Burnley FC team-mates take on coaching roles with the Blues

Former Burnley midfielder Paul Weller is looking forward to sinking his teeth into a new challenge at Shawbridge.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 7:30 am
Paul Weller of Burnley tries to tackle David Dunn of Blackburn Rovers during the Nationwide League Division One game between Blackburn Rovers v Burnley at Ewood Park, Blackburn.

The 46-year-old, who made 252 league appearances for the Clarets, has been appointed as the new Under 18s coach at Clitheroe FC.

Weller will be joined by ex-Turf Moor team-mate Vince Overson, who had two spells at Burnley, while Myles Cunliffe will complete the team.

The trio oversaw a well-attended training day on Tuesday evening with a view to putting different pieces of the puzzle in place as soon as possible.

Paul Weller of Burnley battles with Stig Inge Bjornebye of Blackburn during the Burnley v Blackburn Rovers Nationwide Division One match at Turf Moor, Burnley.

The team competes in the North West Youth Alliance League Second Division, alongside the likes of Trafford, Avro FC, Skelmersdale United and Ashton United.

“We’ve had success with Burnley Belvedere, we’ve got a good Under 16s team, so they’ve sounded us out for the role,” said Weller.

“It’s a great opportunity because the club plays at the highest level in the local area, rather than operating in the East Lancs League.

“They’re able to enter the preliminary rounds of the FA Youth cup as well.

Paul Weller of Burnley beats Paul Robinson of Watford during the Nationwide First Division game between Burnley and Watford at Turf Moor, Burnley.

“The amount of people that turned up for the trials was frightening.

“We had plenty of quality present, from different parts of Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley, so it’ll be a bit like a town team from back in the day.”

Overson, 59, made close to 700 appearances as a professional.

The former defender played 249 times for the Clarets in all competitions in his first stint with the club.

He played under Brian Miller when the Clarets won the Third Division title in 1981-82 and later went on to sign for Birmingham City.

After helping the Blues lift the Football League Trophy in 1991, Overson signed for Stoke City for £55,000 before returning to Burnley in the summer of ‘96.

“It’s good and I’m excited that Vince Overson has come on board with me as well,” Weller said.

“I see him every day, we’re close and I love him to bits. I’ve known him from our days at the Centre of Excellence at Burnley.

“I’ve worked with him so many times before and he sees the game differently from me.

“He has this aura about him and a real presence. People respect him and they’ll work hard for him.”

Weller’s son, Flynn, is among the first wave of players to switch over to the Blues having been featuring for Burnley Belvedere as is Myles’ 16-year-old son Oscar.

Weller said: “I’m doing this for my lad. We’re just trying to take them all to the next level. Many of them haven’t quite physically evolved yet, but there’s plenty of ability.

“It just felt right, it worked for us so we want to start developing players as quickly as we can. Some of them have just been released from professional clubs so they’ve already had that taste. This will really test them.”