August 2010
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Without wanting to claim anything significant, it was surely coincidence that had Barnsley FC linked with a number of players before Ian Holloway appeared on the scene, setting Blackpool's sights on the same said targets.

Remember the Varney rumour? I heard the Tangerines were after Richard Wright too!

Then don't get me started with the speculation over the weekend surrounding the potential exit of our current miracle man, Adam Hammill. After Saturday's spectacular finish, who could be blamed for feeling nervy over the last 72 hours or so?

I keep checking BBC Sport, Sky Sports Transfer Centre and the forums, nobody has firmly closed this window just yet.

Can somebody please close that window?
Iain Hume. Image cropped from original at Flickr.Image via Wikipedia
The final one in the current series places Adam Le Fondre back in our sights, as if he's ever to leave them whilst Mark Robins is in charge.

In this version of the ongoing speculation places the Reds in charge of a £500,000 transfer with Iain Hume travelling in the opposite direction on a season long loan.

Can anybody support this?
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Could another striker be on his way to the Reds this week on a two year deal. Whispers are circulating that Derby County Striker, Luke Varney may be a potential new capture.

During a loan stint at S6 last season, despite scoring eleven goals for the Wendy's he was unable to prevent them sliding in to League One.

In my book that goal tally is enough to prove his potential worth. A more cynical view might suggest that to have scored more may have even saved their skin.

Maybe even then he was lining up a dream move to S71? 
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Over the last couple of days I've posted my views regarding the keeper situation at Oakwell.

The latest speculation to surface, albeit I may have heard it before, links former Ipswich Town keeper, Richard Wright with the Reds.

This could be a useful signing. I must admit, I remember his performance at the "old" Wembley during our play-off final very clearly. Especially the way he directed Higgy's blast against the crossbar off himself and in to the net to send Barnsley 1 - 0 up.

Ipswich v. Barnsley

Alistair | MySpace Video

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With plenty of talk before the weekend concerning Iain Hume, Mark Robins told the Yorkshire Post "Iain's not getting any games here so it might be right that he goes out on loan."

His preferred choice of Goran Lovre supporting Andy Gray has been on show for the early games of this season, leaving MR cautiously monitoring the situation, admitting that he would "keep an eye on his frustration and hope it doesn't boil over."

By all accounts, Lovre is deserving of his position at present and unlucky not to have scored yet, meaning that chances for Hume will inevitably be thin on the ground under the current status quo.

One option from the rumour mill has Simon Cox of West Bromwich Albion on the radar of the Reds. Just one year in to his contract, Cox is on the fringes of the Premiership squad under Roberto Di Matteo.
Talk has it that a deal could be brokered for the entire season, with an option to purchase part of that deal. Something will have to give to make this closer to reality.

Cox has an attractive record. In 2008-2009, he scored an impressive 29 league goals whilst under contract at Swindon Town and has hit 9 in 28 appearances for the Baggies in a stucato spell.

Maybe a period on loan would be the right thing for Hume, but I would equally value his return after a string of games and hopefully the goals we all know he's capable of getting.

Could the changes ring for this weekend?
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The great Liverpool Manager, Bill Shankly, once said that, “If you're not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net and we'll discuss your options afterwards.”

Had that been said in the same spirit about a goalkeeper, then quite frankly, the only objective that matters is to stop the opposition from scoring.

Well, we're three games in and the Reds have conceded seven goals already, is anybody worried? MR has succeeded to a good extent in creating competition for almost every position in the team, but is Luke Steele being challenged hard enough for the No. 1 jersey?

Personally, I am a big fan of the player. The patience and professionalism he demonstrated right through the period he played No. 2 to Muller was exemplary. When he finally returned to the first team, he contributed massively to the Championship survival of the Reds at the end of 2008/09 season. On form, he's perhaps one of the top five keepers presently playing in this league, but I feel that the team can not rely on just one man to deliver consistently in this crucial area.

And sorry ... at 34 years of age, David Preece is not the player who provide this.

Rumour has it that the present No.1 at the Galpharm could be a potential target. Is Alex Smithies the perfect solution? However, with Huddersfield investing in automatic promotion as one of League One's biggest spenders, is this likely?

According to speculation, it could cost Barnsley FC a fee of £800k plus for the England U19 shot stopper, but with interest from and links to Premier League sides, would the Reds be able to pull this one-off?

Congratulations to the lads yesterday. Bagging three goals on the road at Ashton Gate is no mean feat, our record there proves that. Perhaps on another day we would have returned with all three points, but in any scenario we can't be happy scoring three and not gaining our full points quota. In the final shake up, these games are costly.
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I genuinely wonder what @DuncanBannatyne might think of this new product. The Metasox, is apparently a "shinpad for the foot". Erm no ...., that would be a footpad wouldn't it?

Apart from the story that a whole company grew out of a foot injury, which of course is infinitely better that MRSA or Gangrene, Nathan Doyle alongside our Academy players appear to have been utilised in helping develop this prototype.

Who says that the academy can't turn out a finished product? Metasox proves they can!

The marketing blurb goes in to some detail about the product and its development. You have to agree that the game has changed in style over the years to the extent that players are more susceptible to metatarsal injuries, but without coming over all "Parky", you can't kid me that "Skinner" Normanton didn't tread on a few feet at corners!

Perhaps the difference was that if you didn't play the following week, you didn't get paid, resulting in less reported occurances.

Good luck with the product, but when marketeers get to work on a problem which really isn't significant enough to solve, they can really spin you a yarn, can't they?

From Metasox, "In football your feet are your most important asset and protecting them should be a footballer's number one priority".

Surely talent, determination and a desire to win come before all else? But in my mind I can hear those clever marketeers retort, "But how could you even attempt all of those things if you couldn't even kick a ball?".

But I'm one step ahead of them. There's a vital flaw in their protection range and it's so obvious that I feel I must illustrate the point.

Your toe bone connected to your foot bone,
Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone,
Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone,
Your leg bone connected to your knee bone,
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected to your back bone,
Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone,
Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone,
Your neck bone connected to your head bone,
I hear the word of the Lord!

Forget putting it all on the line then! and in Duncan Bannatyne's immortal words, for that reason... I'm out!

Keep in touch with the very latest news regarding The Barnsley Fans' FFL with regular updates, including the latest League Table.

Click On The Image To Visit Barnsley FC Fans' Fantasy Football League 

New teams are welcome and Registered Members are invited to contribute.
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Well hardly ... But in the eyes of my youngest, that could have easily been the case on Saturday as the Reds clocked up their first three points of the new season.

In his experience to date, Barnsley are unbeaten, with fixtures attended at home versus Derby County (last season), Huddersfield Town (friendly) and Palace at the weekend.

World Cup? Impossible. Champions League Final? We can dream ... but at this rate, with my lad at my side, it's only ever three years away - potentially!

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Okay, so I may not be writing in reference to the drubbing we received at QPR, but does that make me any less passionate or optimistic for the season ahead. I don't think so.

It wouldn't brighten up anyones day if I added my slant, neither would I be qualified to having only listened to the match. However, it would have been considered a good start to have gained a point on the road, so I see us only one point off target, one game down. Enough said!

Have you heard the latest rumour?

According the oracle that is Football Rumours, "Barnsley FC boss Mark Robins is poised to complete the signing of Wigan Athletic striker Jason Scotland in the next few days for £1.4m on a three and a half year deal".

Speculation occurs all the time, but it was one response that stopped me in my tracks. You've probably felt the same way I did, when you have also seen a badly researched comment that crops up whenever Barnsley FC are mentioned.

In response to the aforementioned rumour, one user has written, "Don't think so, thought Ipswich were after him, much more ambition and a lot richer".

I concur that according to SkySports, Ipswich seem to be close to signing Scotland.

Regarding ambition, how do you measure this? Could this be linked to the level of risk your prepared to take to achieve your aims?

If that is indeed the case, then maybe the comment is correct. Perhaps more clubs are prepared to demonstrate more ambition (risk) than us, but richer? Now let's see ...

Any Wednesdayite would claim to have more resources than your good old BFC, which as we know is entirely false. Furthermore in The Telegraph, Ipswich's debt had surpassed £35m.

Is that genuine wealth and riches? Let them have Scotland. Another weight on to an already over packed saddle and another hard-luck football club story.

Ambition indeed!
Okay, so its not entirely a revolution in terms of style, lets just class it as an evolution on an existing theme - just like Barnsley FC's home strip.

If you haven't visited a while, please take your time to find and read a number of new pages that have been inserted in to the menu.

> Frequently Asked Questions
> The Reds Npower Championship Fixtures App

Plus many other Links.

New Child Site Live

Also today, for those followers who have joined the League via Texaco Fantasy Football 2010/11, a new series of pages have been lauched  specifically for the banter surrounding this splinter competition.

Further information will be posted soon. In the meantime, why not visit the new site here, Barnsley FC Fans' FFL.

All the best to Mark Robins and the Super Reds for the season ahead. Lets hope for a win at QPR for starters, who knows where that could carry us?
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At the time of writing this post there's just over one day remaining to the start of the new season. Thanks for following this blog over the last two seasons and hopefully there will be even more reasons to keep coming back to the original Barnsley FC Blog, On The Ponty End.

Fantasy Football

Have you registered your team yet in the Barnsley Fans Fantasy Football League? Its dead simple, enter your own team today, by registering at Texaco Fantasy Football 2010/11. Then come and join our Private League (League PIN: 1599).

New Site

Over the next 48 hours a new "child" site is going to be launched specifically for the players and other interested readers. Keep checking for further details.

Become A Registered Member

If you would like to contribute posts and banter to the new site, relating to the Fantasy Football League, contact to become a registered member, stating Your Name, Your Preferred Nickname, the Team Name you have entered in to the league and Your EMail Address (your email will not be published, your full privacy is assured).

Personal log-in details and further information will be sent to registered members only at the very earliest opportunity.

The Real Thing

Whilst a lot has already been written about the predicted fortunes for the Reds from many sources, lets hope that plenty of folk get down to the `well this season to cheer on the lads.

More brass in the kitty from paying spectators will boost the coffers for player purchases and loans. A consistent following and positive support from the terraces should boost player performances.

One scheme that might help and I would encourage armchair supporters to use is the ‘Footy with a Friend from £9.50’ promotion.

All fans need to do is collect four out of the six tokens printed in The Sun from Saturday August 7th to Friday August 13th. The offer gives them access to over 100 matches from August 14 until November 6 at 57 Championship, League 1 and 2 clubs and with 100,000 tickets available they could save up to as much as 80 per cent on standard ticket prices.

The Barnsley FC games that you can make this great saving at are:

Barnsley Vs Derby County
Barnsley Vs Cardiff City

Make sure to pick up a copy of Saturday’s Sun for details of how to get hold of your £9.50 footy tickets.

If you’d like any more info head over to The Sun/Footy Tickets.