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Harsley: "We're looking at next season all the time."

2 April 2018

Barnsley U23s coach Paul Harsley says he is preparing the squad for next season following Good Friday’s 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

The young Reds had several players on trial, and were undone by two Fraser Preston strikes in the first half at Middlewood Road training complex

“We had four trialists starting the game and, obviously, it’s difficult to get any cohesion going,” said Harsley.

“They [Sheffield Wednesday] are a strong side and played well so it was a difficult morning for the lads; we picked up two injuries as well so we had used all our subs within the early stages of the game.

“It was a difficult shift for the lads, some of whom haven’t played for that long before, and putting it together on the day proved to be a step too far for us.”

Midfielder Romal Palmer was withdrawn with the game just 14 minutes old, while left-back Ben Williams hobbled off eight minutes after the interval as Barnsley suffered a double injury blow.

Harsley’s side travel to Crewe Alexandra on Wednesday and could potentially be without the two youngsters.

“We’re not sure, it looks like Romal has pulled his hamstring again which is unfortunate because he’s just returned from that,” continued Harsley. “Ben has taken a knock on his ankle, so we’ll have to see if that settles down.”

The Reds have a number of young players out on loan gaining valuable first team experience in the Football League.

This is a factor that Harsley believes will be more beneficial to their development, and something he hopes can continue in the future.

“It’ll be pleasing thing if we can carry it on,” said the Reds’ U23 coach. “Dylan Mottley-Henry went on loan to Chesterfield but came back to have a stomach operation.

“Jacob Brown is there and has started the last few games - they had a good win last week, so it’s good experience for him to be fighting at the bottom of League Two; it’s a fantastic development opportunity for him.

“Jared Bird is out at Yeovil Town playing games there, again in League Two. The positives we take from the under 23s this season is that we’re getting lads on long term contacts and getting them experience in the league.

“We’re looking at next season all the time; we’ve got to get a bigger group of players to make it an effective process.

“Most teams we play against now have full under 23 sides with experienced players. We often have a lot of youngsters in there, so it’s what we’re used to but can we push our programme on?”


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