Barnsley’s eighth summer signing Bambo Diaby says the lure of English football was the main reason behind his decision to join the club.
The Senegalese defender has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Oakwell and is looking forward to getting underway in front of a vocal Reds’ support.
“I took this decision because I know that this is the best country for football and Barnsley gave me the opportunity to come here,” insisted Diaby. “I made this decision quickly; it is a dream to play in England.
“When you watch the games on television and see the supporters and how close they are with the players, when you’re on the pitch you can hear your supporters and they shout and help you. It’s very nice and in England I think this is fantastic; this was important in my decision to come here.
“The fans are the 12th man and when you see this on television you think: ‘Wow, one day I want to play in England’ and this gives me more motivation for every game.”
Sky Bet Championship football awaits Barnsley following promotion last season and it is set to be a new challenge for many within the Oakwell changing room.
However, Diaby is confident that himself and his teammates can rise to the occasion and have a productive campaign as the Reds look to establish themselves in the second tier.
“I know it’s a new division for me and the team, but when I saw the team in the dressing room, the one thing that was very important is that the team was together,” continued the 21-year-old. “Everyone is young but smiling and enjoying themselves and that’s important for a good season.”
Diaby will be part of the contingency that travels to Nice for pre-season training and has already caught the eye of Daniel Stendel.
The 6’2 centre-back is physically imposing and quick off the mark, and is relishing the prospect of working under his new Head Coach.
“The first impression I got is that he’s an exciting coach and I like this because he will encourage you even if you make a mistake,” said Diaby. “When I was speaking to him, he said he needs my power and that makes me happy.
“I am a powerful player because my qualities are speed and duels; my favourite is when I’m one against one with players because I like challenges – some players have qualities and are fast and people say they are a fantastic player, so I like to play against these and it is good for me.”