‘It doesn’t affect me’ – cousin Jake Rooney not fazed by Wayne connection

Jake Rooney at Burnley's youth press conference

Burnley Academy prodigy Jake Rooney says that cousin Wayne’s legacy doesn’t affect him as he aims to follow in his footballing footsteps.

The 16-year-old has recently broken into the Clarets’ under-18 squad and has his sights set on making a name for himself at Turf Moor.

Speaking at his youth team’s press conference on Monday, Jake described his pride of being a Rooney but is focusing on his own career path after joining from Tranmere Rovers in 2016.

The highly-rated defender said: “I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps, to be honest with you. He seemed to take it in his stride and not many players have had his ability to do what he’s done.

“It’s a proud name, but I don’t strive off being Wayne Rooney’s cousin, I’ve got to work on myself as well. It’s an honour to look-up to him and follow in his footsteps.”

J. Rooney (right) with teammates Rhys Henlon, Chris Conn-Clarke

Given the weight and interest surrounding the iconic surname, Jake remains unfazed by it and revealed to UCLan: “To be honest with you, it doesn’t affect me in a positive or negative way.

“It’s good to look-up to him but doesn’t affect me like, ‘you’re Wayne Rooney’s cousin, you’ve got to live up to these standards,’ I work on myself and just keep going.”

Following an illustrious time in England, Wayne is now plying his stride Stateside for D.C. United, meaning the former England captain isn’t in the worst position to give advice to his cousin.

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However, the midfielder turned centre-back is working well without wise words from his second cousin, admitting: “He’s hasn’t had to give me any advice yet.

“I’ve been doing well, he’s just letting me know ‘if you need any advice’ let me know and I can give you it. He’s always there to support me.

“It’s amazing, it’s absolutely amazing, if anything’s going wrong, I can ask him there and then because, surely, he’s been through it all before.”

As an Evertonian, the youngster will be in the stands at Turf Moor this weekend but is backing his own club ahead of the Premier League match.

A boyhood Blue like his older relative, Jake has made his decision make regarding how he hopes the result goes tomorrow.

“We’ve got to have Burnley winning taking the three points, of course,” he claimed.

When asked if his family will be attendance and wearing blue on Saturday, he said: “Hopefully, I’ll get free tickets. I’ll have to give them some Burnley gear, won’t I?”

Jake is expected to be a part of the U18 squad to face Bolton Wanderers next Saturday, and has another year remaining on his contract.