December 2016
What a year? Especially when you can add a statistical element to the emotional rollercoaster we've all experienced - on our latest trip around the sun.

Clearly, most of our readers ARE Barnsley fanatics. However, we don't always read the stories and background noise that happens in the football world that concerns us. For this reason, I simply love sharing my homework with you all.

So, let's absorb ourselves with our beloved Barnsley FC, at this time last year, courtesy of the analysis done by the professors at Experimental 3-6-1. We can all remember that we were tied to a division where anyone could beat anyone. The evidence was there for all to see.

As quoted on the site, "Every team in this graphic has been beaten by the one immediately clockwise of it during the 2015/16 season. For example, starting in the top left, Bradford lost 2-0 to Peterborough who lost 3-2 to Wigan who lost 1-0 to Burton and so on".

As any December graphic would definitely have suggested, the Reds were not the kingpins of the division. We were not an unbeaten side, capable of breaking the mathematical formula. Instead we were the experts in breaking hearts, away at Altrincham. It all seems a very long time ago now.

Jump ahead a few months. The form table at the closing stages of the season also suggests that we had no right to expect our automatic elevation from the so called 'pub league' either. We may have felt that we finished with a flourish, especially in the euphoria of our final day win (away) at Wigan. We were the stuff that dreams were made of, but other teams had held their own too.

In the play offs, the Reds were sublime. Making the best Walsall side for a generation look very ordinary. However, the barmy fans from South Bermondsey, London, would have expected more from their side at Wembley - in the showcase League One final, on Sunday, 14 May 2016.

What are your best memories following the Reds this season? Are you optimistic about Barnsley's chances in the Championship during 2017? Can we climb into the top six once again? Comment below and join the Super Reds Debate!
The Reds' skipper has been in cracking form this season and is certainly one of the major catalysts in helping Barnsley achieve a healthy league position on their return to the Championship. His performances have earned him rave reviews and plaudits from way beyond Oakwell.  Conor Hourihane has already collected the SkyBet Player of the Month award for August 2016 and it would take a better Irish bookie than many to doubt that further recognition and awards will follow.

Twice this season the 25-year-old has been on the cusp of making his international debut having been called up to the provisional Republic of Ireland squad. At the time of writing this post, have him as the top rated player in the Championship (7.87). His stock is certainly on the rise. But perhaps, here are five things you didn't know about 'Captain Conor'.

  1. On the day Conor Hourihane was born, 2 February 1991, The KLF ft. The Children of The Revolution topped the UK charts with '3 a.m. Eternal'.

  2. Under Peter Reid, Connor Hourihane made his professional debut on 6 August 2011 for Plymouth Argyle, in their opening day draw with Shrewsbury Town at the New Meadow. He was amongst a total of ten debutants on that day.
  3. Born in Bandon, a town in County Cork, Ireland, Conor shares his hometown with Graham Norton, the BBC One chat show host and commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest.
  4. Having won a Cork Person of the Month award in July 2016, Hourihane is up for the Cork Person of the Year gong, to take place in January 2017. Watch this space.
  5. Since taking over as Barnsley captain in December 2015, the club rose from the relegation zone to playoff winners in just five months. Now occupying a comfortable league position in the Championship, life is never dull at Oakwell. But if it ever was, Captain Conor can take comfort from the fact his long term partner, the former Miss Great Britain, Shelby Tribble is there for support. Lucky man. As if being the captain of Barnsley FC wasn't enough?