Burnley defender Kevin Long’s summer just keeps getting better.
The 26-year-old has been handed a new three-year contract by manager Sean Dyche ahead of the new Premier League season, after establishing himself as an important member of the squad in a short amount of time.
The former Cork City defender, who is the longest-serving player of the current squad having joined the Clarets in 2010, expressed his delight at signing on until 2020 and reflected on a dizzying few months that also saw him receive his first call-up to the Irish national team:
“I am delighted. It’s been going on for quite a while now so it’s nice to get it signed and look forward to the next three years.
“It caps what’s been a fabulous few months for me. Coming into the team at the end of last season was great and them to make my international debut for Ireland over the summer was a dream.
“Here at Burnley, we’ve secured another season in the Premier League, so this is a club going in the right direction and it’s a pleasure to be a part of that.
“I’ve been here a long time and probably haven’t played as much as I’d have liked, so hopefully in the next three years I can play a lot more and go from strength to strength.”
Despite arriving at Turf Moor in seven years ago, Long had to wait until January 2015 for his first Premier League appearance, but was injured after just 20 minutes. He had to wait over two years for another chance in the top division before being handed starts in Burnley’s last two games of the season just gone.
With Michael Keane now departed, Long will be hoping to grab his chance and establish himself as a starting centre-back in Dyche’s preferred starting lineup.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we look back at a dream week for Bohemians and those controversial Bray Wanderers statements, as well as the usual round-up of the latest League of Ireland action.