Bobby gives us a summary of the work going on beyond the first team.
Head of Academy Recruitment and Development Bobby Hassell spoke to Barnsley Player HD about the Under 23s and how they’ve fared so far this season, whilst also explaining exactly why the Club have recently added Julio Rodriguez and Jake Charles to the development squad.
Bobby told Barnsley Player HD, “Performance-wise the Under 23s have not been too bad but the results so far haven’t married those performances. We’re averaging 20 shots on goal per game so far, over the four games played which is good but unfortunately we’ve only scored two goals. But they’re improving. I can already see a lot of development in one or two lads.”
The former Reds stalwart has been impressed early on with another recent addition in Dylan Mottley-Henry, the winger who arrived this summer via Bradford City.
“He’s been exceptional the last three games. He played against a good team in Hull City the other day who had a couple of lads on that left side who he was up against that have already played in their first team and I know they’ve had Premier League clubs looking at them, but they couldn’t live with Dylan on the day.
“He’s really excelled the last couple of weeks, probably since Martin Devaney (Under 23s Coach) took him on one-on-one sessions. It’s his end-product now, he’s got an end-product. We all know how quick he is, he’s probably the quickest at the club but it’s no good if he you don’t use it effectively, and he’s picking that up now, which is what it’s all about.”
Recent loan acquisition Julio Rodriguez has impressed the staff thus far in training, and Bobby believes he has all the attributes to make the grade in England.
“He’s 6'4, he’s very quick, he’s a cultured player as you’d expect as a Spanish lad and we’ve just got to see now if he can play! But no, we need to see how he gets on in an eleven versus eleven environment obviously but so far he’s looked very good in training and he’s adapting well.”
It’s an area that Hassell felt the development squad was lacking in and he feels the same regarding the wide left position which helps to explain the addition of Jake Charles, a “winger stroke forward” as Bobby referred to him.
“He’s got pace, he’s high energy and they had really high hopes for him at Huddersfield but the last couple of years they’ve released a few players there who have ended up doing well elsewhere, with a couple up at Rangers and one over at Scunthorpe, all first-teamers, so we’re hoping Jake can kick on quickly here over the next year and force his way into our first team.”
With the end of the emergency loan window, Bobby thinks it’s of great benefit to the players in the Under 23s who must see it as a real opportunity to stake a claim in Paul Heckingbottom’s squad.
“It’s exactly the case. The door isn’t shut here. It’s up to them though at the end of the day. They’ve got an opportunity and they need to grasp it. No young player ever makes it by going home early. You look at the very best, like Ronaldo for example and he’s first on and last off the training pitch. It’s about working hard in my opinion. The rest takes care of itself if you’re good enough.”