England international Kieran Trippier has revealed that he’d love the opportunity to play for Burnley boss Sean Dyche again before hanging up his boots.
The 28-year-old right back made 120 of his 185 appearances for the Clarets under Dyche before Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino snapped him up in the summer of 2015.
Trippier, who was initially brought to Turf Moor on loan from Manchester City alongside Ben Mee, was voted the club’s Player of the Year in his first season and achieved promotion as Championship runners-up.
But while his time with the Clarets ended on a sour note, with relegation from the Premier League, Trippier has always remained in touch with Dyche.
“I still talk to the gaffer on a regular basis and that’s the same with some of the lads,” said Trippier, in an exclusive interview with the Burnley Express. “I’ve always kept in touch with them.
“We were close when I was at Burnley and I would love to play for him again one day. We usually talk once every two weeks, just to keep each other updated on things.
“We’ve always stayed in contact, we’ve always had that kind of relationship. We’ve probably become even closer since I left.
“He helped me a lot. I was still going out when I was younger, drinking, and I wasn’t looking after myself properly. He came in and sorted it all out.
“Duffo had a big influence on my career as well. He certainly deserves a mention. He had a massive impact and helped me mature.
“The gaffer was a quality manager to play for; he taught me how to become a better defender as well as a better attacker.
“He’s somebody that I’ve always respected and looked up to. We had a great friendship and, like I said, it would be great to play for him again one day.
“We just have that understanding, I think everybody that plays for him does. Hopefully one day it will happen; never say never.”
Trippier’s career has since reached unimaginable heights. Last season he featured against Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League before appearing in all-but-one of the Three Lions’ World Cup campaign in Russia.
And he caused pandemonium across the nation when beating Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic from a free-kick, becoming only the third Englishman to score in the semi-final of the tournament, alongside Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker.
However, regardless of his new found fame, he hasn’t forgotten the club that provided the springboard for all this success.
“I still look out for them, of course I do,” Trippier said. “I experienced so much there, getting promoted and almost staying up.
“My career has totally changed. Burnley helped me get to where I am and I’ll never forget that.
“I’ll always be thankful to them. It would be nice to think that I could play for Burnley one day, you never know what can happen.”
Should Trippier play a part tomorrow, it would only be the second time that he’s played at Turf Moor since his departure.
The last time ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors, with goals from Eric Dier and Heung-Min Son, and Trippier is hoping for a repeat to ensure it’s still a three-horse race for the title.
“It’s always nice to go back to Turf Moor,” he said. “That’s where it all began for me. But we need to get the win.
“It’s tough because Manchester City and Liverpool are doing so well but we need to keep focussing on ourselves. We’re on a good run but we know it’ll be a tough game against Burnley.
“I know Burnley inside out. They’re seven unbeaten in the Premier League now, we’re both on a good run of form. It should be an enjoyable game.”
Trippier added: “It was a tough start for them this season with the Europa League. They played six games before the season began properly and most of the players will never have done that before.
“When we had to do it with Spurs I found it really difficult. You’ve got to adapt to different styles of play, the travelling, there are just so many games in qualifying. They may have found that difficult.
“But even in those tough times I still believed that Sean Dyche would pull them out of it. You can never doubt them with the spirit that they’ve got. They’ve just got to keep working hard, which I know they will, and hopefully they’ll stay up.”