For anyone out there who has had any training in the art of business negotiation, the power of silence is one of the golden rules. The ability to remind yourself to simply ‘shut up’ at key points in a conversation forces the opposite party to fill the empty space for you. Often, giving away key information that might ultimately help you to close the deal.



Well, what’s the deal with the fans of Barnsley Football Club?

The owners have shown shocking regard to the supporters in regard to their feedback of late. Whilst it’s appreciated that the club will remain prudent in their activities, to ensure that our club is both profitable and secure, we don’t appear to have an Evangelist who is inspiring us to reach a medium or long term goal. Instead we simply get a positive report that the players have trained well and are ready for the next game.

In that case, it is for us (the fans) to fill the vacuum of silence. It doesn’t sound positive. 

12 months ago, it was an altogether different sound. The Reds were on the march to possible promotion, with a team that could blossom in England’s second division. Nobody expected anything more than survival this term. Now we look like a team who will struggle in League One (the third tier).

STFU for now. Hoping for more noise at the other side of the table.

Barnsley residents invited to spend the night at Oakwell Stadium to support Youth Homeless Charity 50th Anniversary Sleep Out.

Centrepoint and Barnsley FC are inviting local businesses and residents to take on the challenge of swapping their bed for a sleeping bag for one night in November to raise awareness and vital funds for youth homelessness.


The Sleep Out event, now in its third year, is expecting to surpass last year’s efforts where over 100 local residents spent the night in Oakwell Stadium and collectively raised over £35,000.

The money raised at the event will go directly towards the local services supporting homeless young people in Barnsley; ensuring young people in each town and city can have safe and stable accommodation, the skills needed to live independently, support with their physical and mental health alongside access to training and education.

Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity, supports more than 60 homeless young people every day in Barnsley, and over 200 across Yorkshire.

Chloe Sykes, Centrepoint’s Senior Fundraising Officer, said: “While Sleep Out doesn’t aim to replicate the reality of homelessness, taking part in can help highlight just some of the difficulties faced by young people who face homelessness. Sleeping on the floor, dealing with the cold and the noise and then facing the next day with very little sleep.

“The event only lasts one night the money raised will have a huge ongoing impact on those who unfortunately find homelessness as their reality. It will help to support vulnerable young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to move on in to education, work and a home.”

“This year marks Centrepoint’s 50th year in service so we want to make this year our biggest Sleep Out yet!”

The event takes place on Thursday 14th November at the home stadium of Barnsley FC.

Do your part by signing up to Sleep Out at Centrepoint.org.uk/SleepOut or find out other ways you can change the story by visiting Centrepoint.org.uk/ChangeTheStory,


About Centrepoint

  • Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25.
  • Centrepoint supports over 15,000 homeless young people a year.
  • It provides accommodation-based and floating support services in London, Yorkshire, Manchester and the North East. It also runs the Centrepoint Helpline.
  • The Freephone Centrepoint Helpline is for any young person aged 16-25 who is worried about homelessness. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The Centrepoint Helpline number is: 0808 800 0661.
  • Centrepoint’s work is about more than just providing a safe bed for the night; Centrepoint helps young people to turn their lives around by gaining essential life skills; tackling their physical and mental health issues and moving into education or employment.
  • Through policy work, Centrepoint aims to influence public policy, campaigning on behalf of the young people it supports and homeless young people throughout the UK.
  • HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Centrepoint’s Patron in 2005.

Some 10 years ago, Barnsley brought in Emil Hallfredsson on loan from Reggina. He spent the season at Oakwell - a campaign of initial struggle under Simon Davey that later saw the Tykes pull away from trouble with Mark Robins in charge and ultimately end the campaign in lower mid-table. Hallfredsson scored three goals and made four assists in 27 Championship games for Barnsley. It's a pretty unremarkable return even by the in-and-out standards often set by wide midfielders and wingers.
The career of this Iceland international was anything but ordinary. However, after coming through the ranks at Fimleikafelag Hafnarfjardar in his homeland, Hallfredsson was headhunted by then-Tottenham Hotspur sporting director, Frank Arnesen. That great Dane had a glittering playing career and was charged with finding left-wing options for Spurs. Arnesen took a scattergun approach to solving this problematic position, also signing Switzerland's, Reto Ziegler, and the famous Andy Reid from Nottingham Forest.

Hallfredsson never made a first-team appearance for Tottenham, but did show glimpses of what he could do in the reserves and later show further promise during a 2006 loan spell with Malmo in Sweden. He then left White Hart Lane on a permanent basis for Norwegian capital club, Lyn Oslo only to immediately move on to then-Serie A side, Reggina.

It was in Italy where Hallfredsson would spend the vast majority of his club career. Although in and out of the picture at Calabrian club Reggina, he dropped down two divisions to help Hellas Verona go from Serie C back to Serie A.

Once the momentum of that rise through the divisions ebbed, however, Hellas became something of a yo-yo club between the Italian top flight and Serie B. Since Hallfredsson left Verona midway through 2015-16, they've gone down and been promoted twice. They're among the favourites for the drop again this term at 11/8 in the latest Serie A betting on relegation outright markets with bet365.

During his time in Italy, Hallfredsson played with established stars and cult heroes like World Cup-winning striker, Luca Toni, Mexico defensive icon, Rafael Marquez, and Udinese talisman, Antonio Di Natale.

It was whilst he was on the books of that club that Hallfredsson enjoyed his finest hour. He not only qualified with Iceland for a first major international tournament in Euro 2016, but was a part of their squad when they reached the quarter-finals - famously eliminating England in the last 16 en route.
Hallfredsson may have been on the fringes of Icelandic exploits, but was again a part of the roster that reached the 2018 World Cup in Russia. As an individual, his goal in a Euro 2008 qualifier against subsequent dual European champions, Spain, that earned his country a point, would most probably be a personal highlight for the player.

Iceland's opposition that day counted future World Cup winners, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Fernando Torres, and David Villa among the players involved. All in all, not bad for a lad who didn't really cut it at Barnsley!
For the first South Yorkshire derby of the season, The Reds make the short trip down the M1 to Hillsborough, to face a Sheffield Wednesday side coming off of the back of a terrific 3-1 victory over Reading on the opening day.

So ahead of Saturday's clash, I spoke to Eddie from the superb Sheffield Wednesday blog 'Opinion of an Owl' to try and gain a little bit of intel on our opponents from S6.



How was your opening day fixture against Reading?

Very successful. A great team performance, with the addition of the shining performance of Kadeem Harris, making his competitive debut. Would have been the perfect start had Westwood not been sent off.

Which Barnsley player are you most fearful of come Saturday?

Mallik Wilks, without a doubt. I have to admit, I was hugely surprised and jealous when I saw you sign him. He is everything Wednesday needed (although we now have Harris) and his performance against Fulham was certainly impressive.

Since Steve ‘Snakey’ Bruce has left S6, would you have Carlos Carvalhal back?

No. Whilst the first and, to an extent, second season of Carlos’ reign were some of the best since the turn of the century, that is in the past. We should now look forward and appoint a manger who can use money wisely - something Carlos failed to do.

Following on front that Q, who would be, putting all odds aside, your top three for the vacancy?

Chris Hughton - the only one of the three to have experience in this league, his record speaks for himself. However, there are many rumours flying around that he has declined the opportunity to speak to the Hillsborough hierarchy already.

Lee Bullen - the only one of the three to know the squad, I feel he may deserve the chance to have a go at the job full-time. Continue the good results and I’ll have no complaints.

Danny Cowley - Unknown at this level, yet has done wonders with the Imps. Would be a gamble but a young, innovative manager could be what we need.

Which SWFC player should The Reds really keep a look out for on Saturday?

Kadeem Harris. Did wonders on his debut and looks like he may be what we have been missing. Also making his home league debut, hopefully he can reproduce his display at Reading.

Any good memories of this fixture, and on the other hand any bad ones?

I remember a few years ago when we beat you at Hillsborough 2-0 I think, yet the highlight for me was the bizarre red card for Adam Hammill. If I remember rightly, Hutchinson should have received the marching orders, not Hammill. Talking about bad memories, I’m not sure. Probably Harvey Barnes’ wonder-goal in the last home game we had against you. That was the start of the ‘Barnes will tear you apart, again’ curse.

Even though it’s early days, how do you see this season coming to fruition for SWFC?

It all depends on the manger situation. I would be happy with anywhere from 4th-10th. I just want us to be pushing for play-offs. Anything higher is a bonus.

Lastly, score prediction?

1-1 (One all). I think it will be a great, fast-paced, end to end game. It will be interesting to see the certain battles on the pitch. I think the game will be won or lost in the midfield.

On Monday evening The Reds announced the departure of much loved striker Kieffer Moore, as he shunned Oakwell to team up with the Latics and 'Crusty the Pie'. The result of this departure was The Reds receiving a hefty £4M, and 'Keef' leaving a hole in The Reds' squad, so with many fans expecting that hole to be filled in, I look at the rumours swirling around Grove Street on the week of the transfer deadline.



First up, and with his name in the post it will come as no surprise to you that I'm going to write about Croatian striker Sandro Kulenovic, currently playing for Legia Warsaw in Poland's top division, the Etralaska. Likened to both Mario Mandzukic in physique and strength  and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in how quick he is.

Kulenovic has represented Croatia at every single youth level, right from U14's up to U21's. Last season in the Etralaska, Kulenovic bagged 4 in 21 games. Not outstanding numbers, but almost certainly not to be scoffed at, especially when you consider that he started most games on the bench and scored whilst on the pitch - once in every 178 minutes. Going off of this average, if Kulenovic were to have started all 37 games in the Etralaska he would've probably bagged around 17 goals, which is outstanding for a player who hasn't even turned twenty yet. This season so far, he has scored in his sole appearance in the league for Legia, and a further once in the Europa League, starting this season off with a bang you could almost say. Available for around €3M, The Reds have already bid €2.7M, which with bonuses could hit that magic figure, keep your eyes peeled Reds fans. I think this one could be a go-er.

Next, a player who has been linked with The Reds for well over a month now, Marcus Tavernier. Having seen an opening bid of £1.7M rejected on July 21st, and a second bid of £2.6M rejected in early August, could we see 'Tav' in a Red shirt before Thursday's 5PM deadline, with The Reds set to swoop in with a final bid?

Despite being seen by 'Boro fans as a poster-boy for Jonathan Woodgate's new look side, The Reds quite clearly think a deal can be struck with the Teeside club, as most likely if not negotiations would not have been carried out so far down the line from our first bid. Tavernier looks set to be a top player in the future as well, already capped 19 times by England U19's and England U20's. He is a top talent and I would love to see him at Grove Street.

Merely to round off my points on Tavernier. For Middlesborough, in total he has 6 goals and 4 assists in 35 appearances; most of which came from the bench. We should also consider his age, Tavernier's record is outstanding.

Now probably the player who has been linked heaviest to The Reds, Tom Pearce. With a bid in the region of £850K enough to tempt Leeds into selling. It looks as though The Reds could get a real coup in the form of Pearce.

Like many of the players in this post, he is capped for his country at youth level, having made 2 appearances for the England U21's and 8 for the England U20's. Ironically Pearce's first ever professional career goal was actually against The Reds in a 2-1 victory for Leeds in April 2018. A 3rd incoming from Leeds in one summer may be on the cards here, and I'm all for it, Left-Back is without doubt our weakest area on the field in terms of depth, and i feel Pearce would be a superb option to have.

Lastly, a couple of rumours. Reports from Football Insider, the firm who first brought us news of Mallik Wilks and Aapo Halme's incomings have suggested that a 'Loan to buy' move may be about to occur for young West Brom midfielder Sam Field. Once again he has been capped by England at youth level 22 times across three different age groups, and displays a bit of Championship pedigree having played 12 times for the Baggies last term. However, it remains to be seen whether interest in Field is actually concrete.

Another one from the Oakwell Rumour Mill is that the 'back-up option' if a deal for Sandro Kulenovic fails to materialise is Hannover 96 forward Hendrik Weydandt. Weydandt bagged 6 goals in the Bundesliga last term, averaging a goal every 287 minutes in Germany's top flight. If a deal were to be struck for Weydandt the touted fee is that he would cost around €2.5M. So a hefty amount, but still a fair bit cheaper than Kulenovic. However, much like a deal for Sam Field, it remains to be seen if interest is concrete and not just a falsification.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.


Kicking off the new season, Fulham head up the M1 from Craven Cottage following a disappointing season in the Premier League. Ahead of Saturday's match, I caught up with Dan Smith from the excellent Fulham blog, Fulham Focus, to find out what we can expect from our opening day opponents.



What are your hopes and fears for the season?

It’s the hope that kills you right? I think given our position coming down from the Premier League plus, having spent £100 million last summer, it would be quite worrying if we weren’t hoping to be in the mix for automatic promotion. We’ve kept the majority of our squad together, Cairney and Mitrovic have signed new contracts whilst we’ve added quality with Cavaleiro and Knockaert out wide. We have potentially the best attacking line in the division so anything short of top 6 really will be underwhelming.

On the flip side, we have a manager who is taking on his first managerial role in a season where it is essential that we are promoted. We have a new Riverside stand being built and it’ll look like a white elephant, failing to meet the corporate market that it’s being aimed at if we stay out of the top flight for too long, so he’s under pressure immediately to deliver. Add to that our defence, you couldn’t be given a bigger contrast between attack and defence if you tried. We are yet to sign any defenders to improve on the second worst goals conceded record in Premier League history and if Barnsley are to have any joy against us, it’ll be at that end of the field with an in-form Woodrow coming back to haunt us.

Which Fulham player should the Reds be most fearful of?

Take your pick from the front 4. Cavaleiro, Mitrovic, Knockaert with Tom Cairney behind them orchestrating the attacks. It really is a devastating line up at this level. We are yet to see 'Cav' or Knockaert play as this will be their debuts. But knowing what he’s capable of, I have to stick with 'Mitro' as the main threat. When he joined us in the January of our last promotion, no defender in this league could handle him. He’s now fitter and settled in Fulham and that does not make good reading for centre backs in the Championship.

How do you think you will do this season?

As mentioned above, I think we will be heavily reliant on our attack to win us games. So it should be a very entertaining season with goals galore at both ends. My fear is that behind every good team there is a good defence and it’s impossible to gauge our potential based on that. But I’m forever the optimist and I’m going to quietly whisper that I feel we ‘should’ win the league or at least be a strong contender. Our squad on paper cost significantly more than everyone else’s so by rights I think that’s a fair assumption to make rather than a cocky one. If we don’t there can be no excuses and worst ways I’m hoping for top 4 for the home advantage in the playoffs.

What are your thoughts on Barnsley, and which player would you take from us?

I’ve always seen you as a second tier club and it’s good to see you back. With so much money coming down with the failed Premier League clubs, plus so many sleeping giants in this division, it’s going to be hard for the likes of Luton, yourselves and Charlton to compete beyond mid-table. You face 5 really important games after us, all against sides that I expect to be in the bottom half of the league. So the six pointers start from the off and your season will most likely be determined by how well you do in those early games, just like it will be for most clubs. I think you’ll survive but will be down there in the mix along with 6 or 7 others.

We have put all our eggs in one basket with Mitrovic up top and have very little cover if he was to get injured. So Cauley Woodrow being the tried and trusted would be a safe bet. He struggled to make an impact here but as a backup who will only be needed in emergencies (because of 'Mitro’s' fit, he plays), we could do a lot worse.

Any fond memories of trips to Oakwell?

It has to be the 1-3 victory during our 23 game unbeaten run in the 2017/18 promotion season. You were 1 up before Dimitri Cavare discovered the red mist and man handled Stefan Johansen foolishly just before half time. You were controlling the game up until that point but it gave us a platform to grow into the game. We nicked it in injury time with a really scrappy goal from Kevin McDonald scrambling it over the goal line and Sessegnon rounded it off a minute or so later for 3-1. It’s always a good journey home when you score a late winner and Oakwell in general is a good away day.

Any not so fond ones?

None that stick out but I’ve just looked it up and we’ve only lost to you once up at yours in my lifetime and I was born in 88! So that bodes well!

Lastly, score prediction? 

It’s the worst time to be playing a promoted team away from home. Everything is hunky dory and there’s no pressure yet. Plus, we haven’t kept any clean sheets during pre season and ex players (this time Woodrow) always seem to do well against us. So, I’m going to go with a 2-4 win to Fulham. That fire power proving the difference after a very nervy start.