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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 18 April 2021

Long time coming! Ex-Cork defender makes first Premier League start for Burnley

It’s great to see Kevin Long back and fit.

NEARLY EIGHTS YEARS after joining Burnley, former Cork City defender Kevin Long will make his first Premier League start against West Brom this afternoon.

After moving to Turf Moor in January 2010, Long has endured horrific luck with injuries but has worked his way back into the first team reckoning and gets his reward today.

Long starts alongside James Tarkowski in the heart of the Burnley defence for the visit of West Brom with Stephen Ward and Jeff Hendrick also named in Sean Dyche’s side.

In January 2015, Long made his long-awaited top-flight debut after coming off the bench at St James’ Park but lasted just 21 minutes before being stretchered off with a cruciate knee injury.

The injury ruled him out for the rest of the season but the Cork native worked his way back to full fitness with loan spells at Barnsley and MK Dons.

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He was an unused substitute for Burnley in Premier League games against Everton and Crystal Palace this season, but today Long gets the chance he has been working so desperately hard for.

Meanwhile, there’s also a welcome return for Ireland international Marc Wilson this afternoon as he makes his first Premier League start since September 2015 and debut for West Brom after joining the club on loan in January.

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Ryan Bailey

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