PORTRUSH lad Conor Mitchell has settled into life well at Championship outfit Burnley.
The Northern Ireland Under-17 goalkeeper made the move to Turf Moor at the start of July and he is loving it.
“Yeah everything’s going great...I’m loving it,” said Conor.
“I was down at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground last week to play in a tournament against United and Crewe Alexandra.
“It was fantastic.”
Conor is one of nine new scholars to form the core of Terry Pashley’s new-look youth team at Turf Moor.
The intake of 16-year-olds on two-year scholarship deals includes four former members of the Clarets’ Centre of Excellence, Luke Daly, who linked up with Burnley towards the end of last season, and four players recruited from outside the area.
They included one from Newcastle, one from the Republic of Ireland and two from Northern Ireland as the Clarets’ scouting network continues to bear fruit.
Midfielder Daly joined the Clarets after leaving Manchester United and played a part in Burnley’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
Full-back Charlie Holt, striker Lewis Nuttall and goalkeeper Callum Jakovlevs were also members of last season’s youth squad and now join the club full time, along with midfielder Nathan Lowe, who has also progressed through Burnley’s youth programme.
Central defender Alex Whitmore follows in the footsteps of Jack Errington in joining the Clarets from Tyneside-based Wallsend Boys Club.
And following their success in recruiting players from Ireland, Burnley have swooped to sign Conor, Cameron Dummigan and Evan Galvin.
Midfielder Galvin arrives from Cork Corinthians and has been capped at under-16 level by the Republic of Ireland.
Goalkeeper Mitchell from Portrush has been capped at under-17 level for Northern Ireland, while defender Dummigan from Cliftonville is a Northern Ireland under-16 international.
The nine newcomers will join Jason Gilchrist and Luke Gallagher, who have moved into their second year, in the youth set-up.
Errington, Luke Conlan and Cameron Howieson will also still be eligible for the youth team but having signed professional contracts at the end of last season may well spend time with the Clarets’ development squad and be monitored by first-team boss Eddie Howe.
And they will be joined by the six other players who graduated through the youth ranks to sign professional deals over the summer - the target for the new youngsters now launching their Burnley careers.
“This is where it starts for them,” said Pashley.
“We have identified them as good young prospects and we are looking forward to working with them and helping them fulfil their potential to go on and have successful careers - hopefully here at Burnley.”