Hednesford teenager Aidan Stone learning lots at Burnley
Former Brocton goalkeeper Aidan Stone is relishing the first-team environment at Burnley.
The 18-year-old shot-stopper from Hednesford has been training with Sean Dyche’s squad on and off since he was spotted by the Premier League side in the summer.
He has featured for the under-23s all term but last weekend, was taken to Anfield as the third-choice keeper with Tom Heaton injured.
Although he wasn't named in the match-day squad, it was just the latest eye-opening experience for the teenager.
“It’s going really well at the minute,” Stone told the Express & Star. “You’re not expecting it when they ask you to go and train with them, but you always try and do the best you can. They have high standards, so you have to meet them.”
Stone is living in Accrington with Harry Flowers, another former Brocton player who was signed by Burnley this year.
The pair were known as the ‘Brocton boys’ in pre-season, and Stone explained the jump from Midland League to Premier League has been extreme.
“Training every day, that makes a difference,” he said. “It’s quite tough, but we’ve got all the sport science team to help us recover.
“On the training pitch, it’s the fine details. If the keepers have got a game that week, they might tailor their training to the striker. They look at penalty takers, free kick takers, all of that.”
Heaton is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury, but the England international has already made a huge impression on Stone.
“He’s really good with the young lads,” said the Stafford keeper. “He helps you, he tells you what you’re doing well, what you can do better, he’s trying to improve you as much as you’re trying to improve him.
"It’s good to learn under such an experienced keeper.”
Stone knows he's got a long way before he hits those heights, but he's happy with his development in the under-23s.
"We played Crystal Palace first game," he said. "They had Yohan Cabaye, Damien Delaney and James McArthur playing. It's good to come up against that quality."