Defender Owen leaves Valiants

Defender Owen leaves Valiants

Published Jan. 8, 2013 1:15 p.m. ET

Sean Dyche believes new arrival Dane Richards will be a great addition for Burnley in the Championship.

The Clarets are left with the league to focus on for the rest of this season having gone down 1-0 at Barnsley in the FA Cup on Saturday.

A bright spot for Dyche's men in that Oakwell reverse was the debut of Jamaican international winger Richards, who agreed a move from Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps during Eddie Howe's time in charge at Turf Moor.

Nevertheless, Dyche is relishing the prospect of integrating the 29-year-old into his first-team plans.


"He's shown directness and that can be a real weapon in football," the Burnley boss told the Lancashire Telegraph.

"We felt Saturday's game needed that burst of energy down the right-hand side to stretch the pitch.

"We wanted to try to get him an introduction. We got that and he looked effervescent when he came on and stretched the pitch for us, and got a little chance and affected things.

"It's early days yet but we'll see how it goes."

The 21-year-old Northern Ireland international's initial spell was due to end after next Saturday's trip to Oldham, but he has now agreed to stay in west London until May.

Hodson originally joined the Bees in November and has so far made six appearances for Uwe Rosler's side.

Speaking after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Southend in the FA Cup, he said: "I am happy, I am enjoying my time here.

"There are a great bunch of lads, a great manager and great coaching staff.

"The club is in a great position fighting for promotion and it is great to be involved."

Owen made 110 appearances for the Valiants after turning his initial loan spell at the club into a permanent deal in 2009.

He becomes the second player to leave Vale Park on Tuesday following the departure of midfielder Darren Murphy.

Manager Micky Adams told the club's official website: "Gareth has been an absolutely terrific servant for this football club and we wish him every success as he moves on.

"I am sure that he and the club will have some fantastic memories of his time at Vale Park."

Owen added: "I leave Port Vale with a heavy heart and I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me during my time at the club.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Burslem and will be keeping a close eye on results between now and the end of the season - I really hope that the boys can push on and achieve promotion."