Having arrived at Oakwell last summer from Scottish Premier League club Partick Thistle, Liam Lindsay has been one of the most consistent performers in the Reds’ side this season.
A regular pick in defence under both Paul Heckingbottom and José Morais, the 22-year-old centre half is delighted to be named as the Player of the Year by his Barnsley teammates.
Speaking with pride, Liam told us: “To be voted like this, by your peers, it’s just the biggest compliment you can get really. It’s my first season and so to impress my teammates enough to receive this honour, I’m really proud.
“The league position probably takes the shine away from it a bit if I’m honest, but from a personal point of view it’s been a brilliant year for me. I had an injury initially, but since then I’ve played pretty much every game, so, that’s exactly what I’d hoped to do.
“I wanted to come down here and prove myself and I think I’ve done OK. It’s been hard, the standard compared to back up in Scotland is hugely different.
“There’s more money down here hence the better players. I’ve played against some great players and it’s been an eye-opener really, but it’s been the perfect experience and it can only benefit me in my career moving forward.”
The 6’4 centre back had earned many plaudits back in his native Scotland, being named in last season’s Team of the Season in the SPL - the only player outside of the ‘Old Firm’ to make it in.
That success led to much interest in the youngster from English clubs and after coming close to a move to Oxford United, it was the Reds who won the race for his signature, something the big man is thankful for, nine months down the line.
“I’m glad I made the move,” he explained. “When you first sign, you’re on a real high. But then it sinks in a wee bit, that it means you’ll have to move away. You’re going to leave your parents, your family and friends, it’s tough.
“But as soon as I came down here, I realised most of the boys were new anyway, and so everyone was going through all the same things. That helped me. I had Stevie (Mallan) here, and even though I didn’t really know him in Scotland, it helped because both of us made the same journey if you like.
“But it’s been brilliant overall. My dad and my uncle used to say to me that I needed to leave my comfort zone, to challenge myself, and so it gave me the opportunity to show what I’m made of.”
Barnsley are now out of of the drop zone following Saturday’s crucial 2-0 win over Brentford, and will head to Derby County at the weekend full of confidence.
The Reds’ fate is in their own hands, and victory at Pride Park will ensure the Club’s Championship status after a tumultuous campaign.
“We have the players to get the wins, I think the fans have seen us at times, that we’re a decent side, but we’ve just not clicked often enough,” admitted Lindsay. “There’s been wee bits and bobs but we can’t beat ourselves up about it, there’s one game left.
“We’re going to need the fans massively again. We get a real lift when they are with us, behind us. The Sheffield United game is a prime example of the power they can exert - we felt sick when they went 2-1 ahead, but the fans stuck with us and helped carry us through, and we managed to fight for the win.
“We know it’s not been the best this season, but we are a really good group of lads and we’re close-knit. That’s why I feel so thankful that I won this award, it means a lot, but I’ll feel much more happier if we’re three points better off at full-time.”