Meet @TurfyTopper – Our Burnley Correspondent

12/07/2018 Planet FPL

What is your Twitter handle?

@jacktoner/ @turfytopper

Who do you support?

Burnley FC

Why do you support them?

Because, I’m just lucky! That’s my usual answer; I’m 24 and have been a Burnley supporter and season ticket holder all of my life. I was on the Wembley terraces at 6 weeks old wathcing a famous play-off win to secure promotion to the first division.

How often do you get to attend matches?

I attend every home game, as I’ve been a season ticket holder all my life. I do try to get to as many away games as possible, however it’s sometimes tough getting to some of the London games when I live in Preston. I think I managed around 9 or 10 away games (Cup + PL) last season includng a Wednesday away slog to Bournemouth!

Who is your favourite ever player?

Tough, very very tough! Jay Rodriguez has got to be up there as he has been the most succesful Burnley born player I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s also hard to look past some of the recent England internatinals such as Heaton/Pope/Tarkowski/Keane/Trippier etc. However I think my choice, although being unorthadox would have to be Gareth Taylor. He signed for the club when I was 6 so it was around the time that I first really remember football and he was a proper number 10! Playing under the gaffer Stan Ternant, it was proper old fashioned English football and he scored 36 goals in 95 appearences, with one year being presented with the supporters club player of the year by myself!

What win in your lifetime means the most to you?

It has to be the 2009 play-off victory to the Premier League under Owen Coyle (whose name is blasphemous in most of Lancashire now by the way!) It was financially and emotionally probably the most crucial game in our recent history and we simply wouldn’t be where we are today without it.

Which goal meant the most?

It has to be the only goal in the game mentioned in the last question. I just remember when Wade Elliot scored a scremer past Paddy Kenny in the 13th minute, “why did you score so bloody early!?” as we held on to a 1-0 win for dear life! It was the first time in my life I could have real bragging rights at school amongst Preston North End fans and Blackburn fans.

Which team would you most like to beat this season?

Aberdeen. Yes Aberdeen, 51 years since our last “European Tour” and we draw a Scottish team in the Europa League. You just couldn’t write it. It’d be great to give the Europa a really good go without compromising the PL and I honeslty think we can juggle both.

Are you happy with your manager?

The easiest question in here, YES! He even has a pub named after him! For anyone reading this not really familiar with Burnley’s success, a pub in Burnley put a board up last year saying “keep us in the PL gaffer and you and your family drink at the Princess Royal for free”. This year they went one better and after sitting in 6th place in early December they made another promise to rename te pub The Royal Dyche should we qualify for Europe, and the rest is history!

Are you happy with your Board/Chairman?

Another resounding yes. Barry Kilby has arguably earned legend status in the recent history of the club. Through battling cancer and having to step down for a number of years, we still remain an English owned club and all board members look to safeguard the club for the future and look at the bigger picture rather than blowing it on 3 or 4 players and lining their pockets.

Where do you realistically think your club will finish this season?

I have seen a few reports indiciating they think we will struggle to juggle the European football and the Premier League, with some even tipping us for relegation. I wouldn’t go that far, but I certainly wouldn’t expect us to improve on last year. I think the difference between Burnley and the other English elite clubs that compete in these tournaments is that we have no pressure to suceed in either, we simply need to stay in the PL whilst enjoying Europe, and with a young squad I think we can do that.

What opposition player do you secretly admire?

Kieran Trippier. Ex Burnley, been magnificent at the World Cup and always was during his time here. Excellent professional and one I’ll always applaud upon his Turf Moor return.

Is there a youngster at the club who could become a regular in the side this season?

No, I don’t think so. Not from the youth team. Maybe a couple of fringe players could step up with different players taking part in Europa/ PL. Possibly Charlie Taylor will feautre more instead of Ward depending on injuries.

Who do you think will be your club’s top FPL points scorer this season?

Chris Wood. If he can keep up his goalscoring record then hell be right up there with the rest. 24 appearances, 19 of them starts and 10 goals. He got 104 points last season despite only starting half of the games, to put that into perspective, Firmino got 184 and Wood missed half a season. He struggled with fitness last season with a niggling knee injury, so if he can keep up his fitness then he’s one to keep an eye on. We are generally really solid defensivley so depending on prices, a defender or keeper is always worth a punt. The other two flair players would be Gudmundsson or Brady, both creative and both take free kicks and corners (always a chance of an assist/goal).

Can you tell us about your FPL history?

I finished on 2,211 points last season which was just outside the top 100,000 overall (top 2% of players). That was a good season for me, in the past I haven’t been bad in other seasons. I have taken more of an intrest the last 3 years as we all play it at work for a bit of money.

What would be a successful FPL finish for you this season?

Winning my work league! Belive it or not it was neck and neck and I only missed out by 60 points. I’d like to break into the top 100,000 at least as I think im getting smarter at using my chips, which I haven’t been in the past.

What formation do you generally favour for FPL?

Last season it was 4-4-2! Everyone seems to favour strikers/ midfield but with some teams playing wing-backs like midfielders, I found you could earn more points with a decent £5m-£6m defender from a top team than an average midfileder from an average team. But let’s see how they will work out positions as I imagine they will make players like Alonso midfielders this year.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned playing FPL?

Never take a -4 hit. Well, never say never but I used to take the hit for fun because I’d prefer to transfer players in. Theres no point trying to play Del Boy, stick with your transfers, you  made them for a reason. Just plan weeks ahead to fixtures etc (always favour the home team!) and only take a -4 hit if plagued with injuries or its a double gameweek etc.

When do you use your chips last season and was it successful?

GW4- 1st Wildcard

GW22- Free Hit

GW31- 2nd Wildcard

GW36- Bench Boost

GW37- Triple Captain

I tend to always use my first wildcard within the first 5 or 6 gameweeks. You just can’t predict that well from one year to the next. I like to put the form player straight in and just wait for my team value to increase. I always save my triple captain for a DGW and I used it with Kane last season for the final DGW. I should have saved my free hit, I used it on the first double gameweek but I’ve learned now you simply have to save it for the second half of the season when more problematic double gameweeks with Champions League and Cup games creeping up. I could have delayed my second wildcard with more forward planning with transfers but with the players I had missing I simply had to use it.

Anything else we should know about you?

My name’s Jack Toner, I’m 24 and live in Preston. I had a bit of an article published by the Daily Mail at the start of last season, so it’s nice to make a step up and be wrtiting for planet FPL this season! I used to always favour Burnley players playing FPL whereas it’s a bit the opposite now. If i can sit there at Turf Moor and watch Aguero put 3 past us, at least I can talk some joy in saying he’s my captain! Although if I do captain players vs Burnley, I hope they score low as Burnley always comes first.