September 2010
Barnsley are the proud Champions of the Yorkshire Masters and narrowly went close to making the National Final, losing out on penalties in the semis to the eventual tournament winners Birmingham City.

Proving that you're not past it at 35, Football Replay are offering you the stage to mimic the Barnsley FC masters.

Football Replay, an FA-backed scheme offering fun five-a-side football for over-35s will operate weekly from Sunday 3rd October at 40 centres nationwide. According to Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s Director of Football Development, it’s an “exciting and much-needed initiative” that is an ideal alternative for those no longer able to commit to playing the 11-a-side game.

Everyone’s welcome. Turn up on your own and get fitted into one of the ‘All Stars’ teams that they will form each week - or better still, round up a group of mates and form your own team.

Players of all abilities and fitness levels are invited to GET INVOLVED and show that it’s still possible to enjoy the beautiful game.

Sign up now at
In August 2009, I received an unexpected email.

The sender explained that they had begun a project which aimed to capture the spirit, humour and knowledge of the terraces and had been speaking to key fans, clubs, forums and fanzines, asking them to contribute some of their thoughts and memories relating to their clubs and players.

Perhaps at first I felt daunted by the task, but quickly realised that I had an opportunity to share this news with the readers of this Barnsley FC Blog and listeners of the Podcast.

You probably haven't failed to notice the gap between this and any previous posts. The international break didn't help, but I found myself unable to speculate on the games coming up between two sides that had just been promoted from League One.

Norwich City, with the obvious connection for Mark Robins plus the visit to Oakwell of the former "mighty Leeds United", should have given me tons of material, but somehow it simply failed to materialise in time. But both outcomes have given various writers a field day, haven't they?

How often, can one side be responsible for more than a single goal in one game, yet still come out of it on the losing side? Someone out there will have the stats. But allegedly, unlike an England versus Pakistan test match, a result like this could never be forced.

So to Tuesday night. I would have to leave it to others to provide a match report, but for those of you who didn't manage to make it, you missed some breathtaking performances.

Garry O'Conner was outstanding. Strong, intelligent and battled throughout, which can't have gone unnoticed by his fellow professionals. I believe it was this attitude that gained the result last night, despite going down 0 - 1 to an early strike from Howson.

From that moment on, Leeds were never really back in the game, enduring long periods in their own half before the Reds justly equalised.

Adam Hammill basked in the songs of the Ponty End, and he truly was "a Red" throughout.

Jim O'Brien was inspirational, a goalscorer early in the second half, but also a constant thorn in the side of Leeds.

For the club to treat it as a Cup Tie on a par with Chelsea or Liverpool is their decision. Apparently there is a pending release of a DVD plus car stickers. But I'm sure there's many a Barnsley fan that works in West Yorkshire and nobody in that area would have seen last night's result coming.

Will more fans now make it in to Oakwell regularly as a result? Time will tell.

One thing is certain though. Mark Robins has assembled a team that has the potential to beat anybody in this league. If consistency can be attained and with the support of that so-called 12 man, us the fans, this season has plenty to offer.

My writers block seems to have disappeared. There's tons to consider and look forward to as the Reds now look to gain and sustain a position in the top six.

Bring on Derby County!
In August 2009, his signing was heralded as a great coup for Barnsley FC. with Simon Davey stating at the time that, "Adam is a fantastic prospect and one we are delighted to bring to Oakwell on a permanent basis."

Just one year later and Davey's prophetic view must make him a blood relative of Mother Shipton as The Reds' "Young Player Of The Year" is now a major linchpin in Mark Robin's team. Hamill also believes that there is even more to look forward to.

"There's a lot of talent in this team and I think if we all gel really quickly – which on the training pitch we are – I think we can push towards the top end of the table.

"Last season when we got within touching distance of the play-offs we sort of, I don't know, shied away a bit, I don't think we believed in ourselves.

"Hopefully we can kick on this season. We've got the right mix, there's a great atmosphere, and it's looking good this year."

Adam Hammill was speaking to Lee Sobot of the YEP.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this great compilation of clips of the Reds' man of the moment, courtesy of m469bex

At 5 p.m. today, the Premier League management teams will have to name their 25-man squads. Eight have to be 'home grown', meaning they must have spent at least three years training with an English or Welsh professional club before they reached the age of 21.

A number of senior pros will simply not make the cut under the new rule changes, implying that the Championship may gain further stars, perhaps with the most notable to date being Craig Bellamy who recently tied up a deal with Cardiff City.

Thankfully Barnsley FC will not see any of our own established and promising talent leave permanently. With the loan window now the only major area to create change, MR has spoken about loans in and out a distinct possibility.

Under this tweak to the squad system, what will result from the potential influx from this "open" pot of talent?

On the one hand, many players may already be in the last throws of their current deal and this new twist may serve to create a shop-window for their next contract/deal. On the other, can clubs afford to pick-up the pieces of a demoralised professional, at the expense of their current crop's morale?

So for those awating the latest arrivals from the fringes of Everton, Birmingham City, Stoke City, Fulham, Sunderland or Bolton Wanderers, the system could be a generous gift if the player involved is motivated to move for the right reasons. But could the hype and speculation in reality be fools gold?

What's your opinion?

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