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Barnsley – The Scout Report

Newcastle travel to Yorkshire with a 6,000 strong following, looking to continue their excellent form and add to their three consecutive wins. Paul Heckingbottom’s free-scoring Barnsley side will pose a tough test, having already picked up points where they were not so hotly fancied so far this season.

Barnsley – A Factfile
Founded: 1887
Nickname: The Tykes
Stadium: Oakwell (23,009 capacity)
Manager: Paul Heckingbottom
2015-16: League One, 6th
Major Honours: FA Cup (1911-12)

Notable Signings

Tom Bradshaw –
ST – The striker is playing at the highest level to date in his career and still finding the back of the net. After impressing in League One with Walsall, the 24-year old sealed a summer move to Barnsley and has been given the opportunity to showcase his talent against tougher opponents and sterner defences.
Ryan Kent – LW – Exciting, young winger Kent is a product of Liverpool’s youth academy and whilst he is only on loan, the 19-year old has been lighting up Oakwell recently with impressive displays. Sometimes naïve in possession but an excellent dribbler and crosser, Kent is a raw talent capable of causing damage and pitching in with goals.

Notable Departures

Alfie Mawson –
CB – Barnsley’s goalscoring centre-back was a brilliant asset for the Tykes, especially last season in their promotion push and road to Wembley for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign. However, Mawson’s talent was spotted by Swansea City’s scouts and the youngster was snapped up for a sizeable fee. Mawson was a fan favourite at Oakwell for his impassioned performances and his solidity in defence will be missed, proven by Barnsley’s 20 goals conceded in 12 league games.

Ashley Fletcher – ST – A key member of Barnsley’s surprising rise to the play-offs last season was current West Ham employee, Ashley Fletcher. Fletcher scored nine goals during his loan spell at Oakwell, showing maturity beyond his years, leading the Tykes’ frontline. Barnsley have opted to replace the youngster’s services with a number of different strikers but replacing his valuable contribution will be a task for boss Heckingbottom.
Lloyd Isgrove – RW – One of Barnsley’s Play-Off Final heroes from last campaign, Isgrove returned to parent club Southampton after featuring over 30 times for Barnsley during 2015-16. His assists and attacking contribution were key to winning the Tykes vital points which ultimately secured their promotion. His creative influence and direct approach will be a miss at the higher level in the Championship.
Key Players

Conor Hourihane – CM – Undoubtedly Barnsley’s most important player is Irishman Hourihane, who leads the side as captain in what is his third full season at the Yorkshire club. Despite being only 25, Hourihane leads the youthful Barnsley team with experience and authority not dissimilar to that of an experienced pro. Signed for just £250,000 from Plymouth Argyle, he has more than repaid his transfer fee with 25 league goals to date from midfield. Capable of dictating the tempo and acting as playmaker, Hourihane is an invaluable asset.

Marc Roberts – CB – Barnsley’s diamond in the rough, Roberts had been playing in non-league football up until 2015 when he was snapped up by the, then League One club. Since then, the industrious, agricultural centre-back has been a pillar of Barnsley’s rise to the Championship, featuring in 50 league games, scoring twice and terrifying opposition attacks with his 6ft 5in stature.

Marley Watkins – RW – Another player with a background in non-league football, Watkins dropped down the leagues after being released by Swansea as a youngster, plying his trade at the likes of Hereford United and Bath City before alerting the attention of SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle, before heading south once again for Barnsley. Watkins is an adaptable winger capable of playing as a wideman in a three-pronged attack but also as a traditional wide midfielder in a 4-4-2 system.
Last Six Results

Wolves 0-4 Barnsley – 13/9/16
Barnsley 1-2 Reading – 17/9/16
Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 Barnsley – 24/9/16
Barnsley 1-1 Aston Villa – 27/9/16
Leeds United 2-1 Barnsley – 1/10/16
Barnsley 2-4 Fulham – 15/10/16

Manager :
Paul Heckingbottom
As an ex-Manchester United youth team player between 1993-1995, the Barnsley boss is no stranger to success; and as a local lad and former player, he understands the frustrations of the Tykes’ faithful. His role as first team manager is his first job in senior management after previously running Barnsley’s youth teams, meaning that developing youth will be high on his agenda. His CV isn’t bolstered by major honours and continental success, yet he guided Barnsley to an improbable promotion after taking over in February 2016 with the club languishing in the lower reaches of the third tier. 

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