Deon to use Jamaica matches to hone form for Owls
By Stu Owl
June 3 2008
He is in the Jamaica squad for a match against St Vincent and the Grenadines with every incentive to hone his form. The striker will find himself in the frontline of the Hillsborough battle for striker places and will know that his end-of-season flourish with the Owls may count for little when Brian Laws starts pondering his possible line-up for the start of next season
Burton is arguably the Wednesday player who is most in danger of losing his place, with Akpo Sodje, Francis Jeffers and Marcus Tudgay all on the way back from injuries.
That's despite his climax to the 2008-09 campaign when he enjoyed an unbroken, 11-match run in the team and scored two goals in a man-of-the-match perform-ance in the final game against Norwich.
There is every incentive for him to maintain peak form and fitness even if that means "overtime" during the summer.
He is said to have taken the eye at Jamaica's training camp in advance of their five close-season matches.
This could suggests that the striker is aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
He feels that the international duty can help him to hit the ground running when the Owls report back for training at the end of the month.
Wednesday will also be watching to see whether a busy summer has left the 31-year-old jaded or, worse still, injured.
Something that could count in Burton's favour is the fact that he was used fairly sparingly last season and a had a long spell as a sub before his full involvement in the last two months of the campaign.
Overall he made only 25 League and Cup starts and had 20 outings from the bench.
Although Jamaica have five games this month - which sounds like a sapping schedule for someone who has just reached the end of a long English season - it is not likely that they will use the same players in every game.
It is understood that they see the 50-cap Burton as someone who can benefit the squad via his experience, and the same will go for his Owls team-mate Jermaine Johnson.
Like Burton, Johnson must stake a claim for a Wednesday place after having a little taste of life on the sidelines last season but the current scenario suggests that competition for places on the wings will be less intense than the fight for striker spots.
The chances of Leon Clarke - one of five strikers in the squad - moving to Southend could have increased with Shrimpers forward Dave Harrold confirming that it appears he will be leaving.
The transfer-listed 23-year-old said: "I do have clubs interested and something may happen within the next two or three weeks."