Burnley youngster Cameron Howieson could use the Olympics as a springboard towards regular first-team football insists Burnley boss Eddie Howe.
The 17-year-old earned his first international cap against El Salvador in Houston in May and looks a certain starter in the U23 side that will begin their Olympic campaign at the home of Coventry City Football Club tonight against Belarus.
With The Oly Whites then set to face Egypt and Old Trafford on Sunday and Brazil at St James’ Park, Newcastle next Wednesday, Howe believes that his young midfielder could return to Turf Moor ready to challenge for a regular spot in his first eleven.
“I’m really pleased for him this summer and I can’t wait to see him come back and see how he’s moved on and see how he’s developed,” Howe told the Lancashire Telegraph.
“I’m sure this summer’s experiences have been invaluable for him, I’m sure it’s improved his game and brought his game on so we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
“It’s a great experience for any young footballer, any young sportsman, to be mixing with the athletes that are there.”
“I know Olympic football is viewed quite cynically in this country but I think if you’re participating in the event I think it’s something very special, and I’m delighted for him.”
“I think it will be something he looks back on with fond memories and I’m sure it’s brought him closer to our first team.”
Howe added: “The games that he’s got and the games that he’s had already, they are great experiences for him. Something that we’ll hopefully benefit from.”
“It’s going to make him grow up pretty quickly. He’s already played in front of some big crowds and in some pressure situations and sometimes with young players that’s the doubt you have – can they handle these occasions?”
“I’m sure all these experiences added up will make him much better prepared for our first team and the pressure situations that he may find himself in next year.”