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Roker Report Road Trip: Burnley Bound

PORTSMOUTH ENGLAND - JANUARY 25:  Burnley celebrate after beating Portsmouth in the npower Championship match between Portsmouth and Burnley at Fratton Park on January 25 2011 in Portsmouth England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Burnley celebrate after beating Portsmouth in the npower Championship match between Portsmouth and Burnley at Fratton Park on January 25 2011 in Portsmouth England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
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Tomorrow the lads head into the final stretch of their pre-season tour with Stephane Sessegnon warming up nicely ahead of the new term with a nice little trip to Burnley. Bruce named his strongest side of the summer to date midweek in the 2-1 win over Kilmarnock as he looks to piece together his first choice side. It remains to see if he will again utilise the 4-4-1-1 formation which we saw on Wednesday night or continue with further experimentation, possibly have a dabble with 4-3-3?

Either way you can count on us here at Roker Park to fill you in on all the action post match, but before all that we have an look at everything Burnley has offer the hoards of travelling fans. So without further ado...

CLUB

Like many of the clubs we have faced this summer Burnley started out with a different first choice of sport, in the case of the Clarets, Rugby. However they quickly saw the error of their ways and switched to football in 1882 and entered the Football League upon its inception in 1888.

Before Arsene Wenger's "Invincibles" of 2003/04, Burnley were the last side to go an entire season unbeaten, a run of thirty-one league games in 1920/21 which saw them, inevitably, win the league. 

In recent years Burnley have seen a renaissance at Turf Moor. In 1992 they became only the second club, after Wolves, to win all four division titles in the English game when they finally escaped from the old fourth division. 

Much of Burnley's revival can be attributed to a man who has his own connections with the red and white; Stan Ternent. 

Most recently the side had a stint in the top flight, which will be fondly remembered for a Robbie Blake rasper which sealed a 1-0 win over the champions Manchester United.

STADIUM

Burnley have called Turf Moor home since 1883 which, obviously, is one of the longest continuous occupancy by a club of one ground in the Country. You'll be glad to hear however that the ground has undergone one or two upgrades since the 1800s! 

Two large two-tiered stands were added in the 1990's which dwarf the older smaller sides that make up the rest of the ground. 

The away fans are housed in one of the aforementioned smaller stands, namely the David Fishwick Stand, which can hold over four-thousand should demand dictate it. There are also a few pillars, which is to be expected of an older football stand, which may obscure your view.

CITY

Once the biggest producer of cotton cloth on the planet and the home of the Pendle Witches, Burnley has one or two places of interest should you find yourself at a loose end before kickoff. 

Towneley Hall is a large stately home not far from Turf Moor which dates back to the 1400's and since opening to the public in 1903 is now an art gallery and museum.

To round off your Burnley experience you could also check out Gawthorpe Hall, another stately home, which is situated in Padiham where Burnley's training facilities are also housed.

So yeah, plenty of old houses with fancy stuff to look at. If that's your cup of tea.

PUBS

If you're looking for a quick beer before heading into the ground you may not have to look too far as directly opposite the away end you will find the Burnley Cricket Club. Given the pub's location away fans are certain of a friendly welcome and I am reliably informed that the beer is "dirt cheap" so you could do a lot worse! Also given its proximity to the ground allows time for an extra beer or two before staggering across the road.

Burnley is also home to the award winning Moorhouses Brewery at which you can undertake a tour to see how the magic happens in creating such ales as The Black Cat, which must be worth a sample or two for obvious reasons.

PLAYED FOR BOTH

I didn't have to look too far from the current Burnley squad to find a player that has graced both club - Ross Wallace. I always quite liked Ross, a freekick specialist of sorts, who made over fifty appearances for Sunderland before a combination of a serious knee injury and falling out of favour with Roy Keane ended his spell with the Black Cats. I'm sure the travelling fans will give the Scot a nice round of applause should he make an appearance.