The Checkatrade Trophy has given opportunity for EFL clubs to put some younger talent into the first team. Academy Manager Bobby Hassell has given his thoughts on the seven youngsters who could be involved this evening against Everton U21s in the competition. All of the players mentioned have featured in the first team squad this season, stepping-up from the Reds’ academy system.
Ben has improved immensely over the last 12 months, particularly because of his involvement with the first team. We worked a lot with him last year and he has a lot of improvements to make, being a young boy, but he’s had a good start to his Barnsley career and will only improve by playing football week-in, week-out.
He went out on loan last year and gained vital first team experience. He was the first player that I gave a pro-contract to and he’s got Barnsley DNA in his system. Jacob is whole-hearted and committed, and as a manager you can trust him in terms of what you get because of his work rate.
I watched Victor for six months before we brought him here from Leyton Orient. He has one of the best attitudes I’ve seen in a modern-day young player and had a great start to his career and shown that he’s a great impact player. I personally think he’s got a great chance of establishing himself as a Championship player.
We brought Jared in after he left Derby because he was too small – Paul Heckingbottom thought the same, but took a real liking to him in his second year. He’s great at reading the game and makes a lot of interceptions, and the next few years for him are vital in terms of playing first team football.
Jack has surprised me; he always used to struggle with his mentality and nerves. But he’s overcome that and went into the first team at the end of last season and put in some great performances in the Championship. He’s played well when he’s come in this season and he’s got a fantastic chance of making it because, generally, goalkeepers don’t mature until much later.
He’s a local lad – Barnsley through and through, and a fantastic kid. He’s got a great temperament and attitude, but is a fantastic shot stopper. There are improvements to be made and, hopefully, he’ll grow a few inches. Jake has got all the tools to go on and have a fantastic career.
Another one who is Barnsley through and through, with a great temperament. He’s a great size and is only 17-years-old, so he’s still growing. If Henry can improve on his distribution and kicking then he will continue to progress, and he is another player who can have a great career.