After serving the Club for 10 years as a player between 2003 and 2013 followed by a spell in India, the Club are pleased to welcome Bobby back to his spiritual home in Oakwell.
It is vitally important the Club seeks to produce players from the Academy which benefit both the first-team and future stability of the Club. The Club believes that Bobby is well placed to identify and recruit the type of young player who will ultimately succeed for the Club. Bobby already has excellent links in the local football and school communities and will bring a wealth of recent playing experience to the role.
As the Emergency Window is due to disappear, the quality of the Club's younger professional players will be a direct factor in the Club's league success from the start of the 2016/2017 season. Bobby appreciates this and will, as part of his role, engage with all of the Academy coaches and work closely with Academy Manager, Ronnie Branson.
With Bobby's passion and knowledge of the Club and Town, he is the perfect candidate to make sure we take our recruitment drive within our Academy to the next level and to seek to ensure that the best young players play for their home town Club.
Speaking on the appointment and return of Bobby, Chief Executive Ben Mansford said, "All at the Club are delighted to have Bobby on board as Head of Academy Recruitment. We have been discussing Bobby joining us over the last few weeks and it is clear that Bobby will be a huge success in this role. Bobby not only knows what it takes to succeed as a professional player but will also be able to advise the players on the challenges they will face on and off the field as they seek to embark and maintain a career in professional football.
"Everyone at the Club is delighted that Bobby is back on the staff and I'm looking forward to working with him."
Bobby added, "After finishing my 19-year playing career in the summer, it feels fantastic to return to Oakwell; a place which I hold dear in my heart. I'd like to place on record my thanks to Patrick Cryne with whom I've always had a very good relationship and also to our CEO, Ben Mansford, for inviting me back in this role. I'm excited to be aiding the Club in bringing through the doors the next generation of players, who have the potential to go on and represent the Club professionally.
"I'm looking forward to working closely with Ronnie Branson and Mark Burton and my ex team-mates, Martin Devaney and Paul Heckingbottom, within the Academy set-up. My focus will involve players from the age of 21 all the way down to the age of eight. I shall also be coaching intermittently but my main focus will be on recruitment. I think it's critical that Barnsley Football Club becomes the first option of local talent. This is where I'm hoping that my own personal experience of playing here and also my links with the local community will help this to be realised."