Loan star stays to strengthen bonds

EVO-STIK Northern Premier League newboys Colne FC are looking forward to building on their growing partnership with Burnley after the Premier League club agreed to let them hold on to loan star Tony Aghayere until the end of the season.

The former Manchester City keeper, pictured, helped Steve Cunningham's side win promotion last season to the EVO-STIK NPL as North West Counties Football League champions and is staying on at Holt House to help the Reds bid for a second successive promotion.

The 18-year-old's loan was extended this month with the blessing on Craig Mawson, the head of goalkeeping at the academy at Turf Moor. According to the Reds, he's been delighted with the progress the keeper has made since last season and was happy to see them see out another campaign following his performances this term at a higher level.

The Reds thanked Burnley and singled out Mawson for special praise for entrusting them with the development of the Madrid-born teenager in a statement confirming the extension deal with their Lancashire neighbours.

The Reds said: "The club are delighted to announce that Burnley FC have agreed to allow Tony to remain at Holt House until the end of the season as manager Steve Cunningham attempts to drive his team up the league and into a play-off position.

"The club wish to place on record their appreciation of the agreement with Burnley, with a special mention to Craig Mawson from Burnley FC who has been in regular contact with the club and continually assessing Tony's progress. In the interests of not hindering the player's progress however, Burnley are enclosing a recall option clause in the new deal.

"The positive relationship that has developed between Burnley FC and Colne FC is something the club are proud of and we are delighted to retain a player who has played a major part in the club's recent successes, in winning promotion last season and the solid start to our first season in the Northern Premier League North."

The club added: "Tony is a firm fan's favourite and his attitude and professionalism in dealing, especially with our young supporters, does him much credit. Manager Steve Cunningham is delighted to keep 'the big man' in his squad for the foreseeable future. He also wishes to pass on his thanks to Craig Mawson and Burnley FC for their confidence in leaving part of Tony's development in the hands of Colne FC."

Images courtesy of LA Photographic & burnleyfootballclub.com

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