Adam Davies has been named captain for Barnsley’s first match of the season against Oxford United on Saturday.
The Reds’ stopper will lead the team out at Oakwell as Daniel Stendel’s side get their League campaign underway, and the Wales international admits it is an honour to be given this responsibility.
“It’s a massive privilege to captain the lads and captain this Club,” said Davies. “I owe a lot to this Club who have stuck by me through thick and thin; I’ve had four great years – I know there’s been highs and lows, but the majority of the time has been successful.
“I think I’m the oldest player. We’ve got some good characters in there and the gaffer doesn’t just want the one leader; he wants four or five leaders and when we go and talk to the gaffer there’s four or five of us go in together, and he wants us to be a unit and help the younger lads out.
“So the likes of Kieffer Moore and Cameron McGeehan are the lads he’s looking to, so we’re working together to go in the right direction.
“I think it’s good to have the increased responsibility amongst lots of the players. Other people have other qualities that they can help people with, so it’s important to have not just one person leading the whole team – it’s good that there’s four or five of us who can have an input.”
Davies was part of the Barnsley side that beat Oxford 3-2 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley in 2016 – the same team that went onto win promotion from League One.
The Reds were languishing in the relegation zone before a miraculous turn of form that saw the team win 16 games after Christmas – losing just three times – to seal a play-off spot and, eventually, secure a return to the Championship.
“It was a tough old ask last time we were in League One and a lot of things had to go our way,” continued Davies. “You want to start the season well and give yourself the best chance to get promotion.
“The aim is promotion and that’s what we want to do. We’re not going to talk about it too much, we’re just going to concentrate on getting off to the best possible start.”
The arrival of Stendel this summer has seen the Reds adopt a more high-pressing approach in their pre-season outings, a style that looks set to be implemented this campaign.
While it may take the team time to adapt to this new philosophy, Davies is confident that this brand of football can be successful.
“I think we’ve started to understand it a lot more, especially the outfielders because it’s a different way of playing,” said Davies.
“You can see, especially in the last few games we’ve played – particularly in the first half against West Brom – we’ve played really well, and it’s only going to get better the more we play. The more we play in that kind of way, the more effective it will be.”