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Kevin Long won his eighth senior cap for Ireland in last month's 1-1 draw with Poland.
Kevin Long won his eighth senior cap for Ireland in last month's 1-1 draw with Poland.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

New contract to extend Ireland defender's run as Burnley's longest-serving player

Kevin Long has been handed a new deal which will keep him at Turf Moor until the summer of 2021.
Oct 10th 2018, 4:23 PM 7,691 2

PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB Burnley have rewarded Kevin Long with a new contract.

The Republic of Ireland central defender has been tied down on a deal until June 2021.

Having joined from hometown club Cork City in January 2010, Long is Burnley’s longest-serving player. 

“Ever since I’ve been here the club has gone from strength-to-strength,” he told Burnley FC’s official website. “It’s progressed massively, and I think it will continue to do as long as we keep making sure the performances on the pitch are moving forward.”

While his early years at Turf Moor were hampered by injury, last season was Long’s most productive at the club. He made 16 Premier League starts as Sean Dyche’s side qualified for the Europa League by finishing seventh.

Providing back-up for the likes of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, Long has been restricted to just one league appearance from the bench so far this season, although he did make three starts during their European campaign.

“Last season I played quite a few games in the Premier League, which is the highest level and where you want to be,” the 28-year-old said. “I’m not in the team at the moment with Tarky and Ben doing well and so I’ve got to bide my time again.

Kevin Long Long in possession for Burnley in a friendly against his former club Cork City in July. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“You have to wait for a chance and then try and take it when it comes, which I think I did last season. I want to be playing games and I’m not happy when I’m not in the team.

“My main aim is to get in the starting line-up. But you can only pick 11 and I have to be patient and keep working hard. And when the chance comes, I like to think I help the team and I want that to continue.”

Long, who won his eighth senior cap for Ireland in last month’s draw with Poland, is currently with Martin O’Neill’s squad in Dublin as they prepare for the Uefa Nations League double header against Denmark and Wales.

Long said: “Playing in the Premier League is the highest level, which has definitely helped me. I’m delighted to have been called up by my country again and it’s a big week for us.”

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