Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Interviews

Woodrow: "I feel I'm in a good place."

Pre-season thoughts of 19-goal striker

21 June 2019

Ahead of the players' return to Oakwell for the start of pre-season training, we caught up with striker Cauley Woodrow to get his thoughts on the season ahead, and in particular, fixture release day.

Signed from Fulham on a permanent contract in January of this year following a successful loan-spell, Woodrow found this week's fixture release news very fitting. 

He will be up against his former club in the Reds' opening fixture of the new campaign as his ex-teammate Scott Parker brings the Cottagers to Oakwell on August 3rd. 

"It's crazy really," Woodrow told us. 

"I've obviously been joking with friends and family this summer that we'd get Fulham on the opening day and then I woke up on the morning they were out to find out we'd got them!

"That's an exciting one for me obviously and I'm looking forward to taking them on, but just in general, I'm buzzing to take on the Championship for Barnsley."

Woodrow at Fulham

Having spent the best part of seven years in West London with Fulham, moving north and away from his roots was a big step for Cauley to make, but he grabbed the opportunity by the scruff of the neck, scoring 19 times for the Reds last season despite missing three months through injury. 

Woodrow said: "I spent a long time at Fulham, I had some good times there and I've plenty of friends at the club. 

"The club has a special place in my heart, but I'm a Red now and whilst it's going to be a tough game, Fulham just coming down from the Premier League, with some quality players, we don't fear anyone.

"They gave me my chance, they trusted me at the highest level so I'm grateful for that. I'm still really close to a lot of the lads there, the staff, the manager there."

With the fixtures now released, the excitement of a new season increases. 

Moving away from the opening day match-up with Fulham, Woodrow explained that it's not only supporters who get a buzz out of seeing the list revealed. 

"The lads here are buzzing anyway after what we achieved last season, but then you go away and have some down-time on holiday where you kind of relax and put football away for a month or so. 

"But then the fixtures are announced and everything feels real again. 

"We're back in next week for pre-season training and it'll be good to see everyone again, knowing the new campaign's just around the corner for us.

"It's going to be about sticking together, getting fit, feeling fresh and prepared to attack the Championship. We know it's a step-up and we know it'll be tough."

Promoted!

Despite it being practically six weeks since the conclusion of the promotion season, in modern-day football, the players are expected to remain in some kind of shape through the summer. 

The former England U21 striker agreed with that and told us about the off-season work that he and his teammates have been putting in. 

"It's important we stay in shape," Woodrow admitted. 

"We get given an off-season programme and advice for keeping trim fit. Me personally, I always stay fit over the summer, and I'd expect the lads to as well. 

"Whilst it's important to get a bit of rest and recuperation, we need to be fit and ready for pre-season. We're a fit and young group, it's vital because of the way we play the game. 

"It's about sharpness really, getting back into the swing of things and I'm sure we'll all be back and raring to go next week."

England duty

So what does Cauley expect from the season ahead, will the Reds under Head Coach, Daniel Stendel change their approach now they're a level higher in the league pyramid? 

The high-pressing, high-intensity football that took the third tier by storm last time around won plaudits from many but at Championship level, the challenge is greater. 

"The gaffer has been very clear from day one what he expects from us as players and what he expects his Barnsley side to look like, how to play. 

"I don't see that changing much next season, why would he deviate from something that worked so well for us?

"We've lost one or two players and added some also, that's natural and something you deal with as a club, as players at every club every summer. 

"But that doesn't mean we'll change from the foundations set last season. It's about building upon that really, step by step, that's made clear as the club's philosophy. 

"I fully expect us to be playing the same brand of football that we did last year so successfully."

Woodrow

The 24-year-old frontman is no stranger to football in the Championship having spent time with both Fulham, Burton and Bristol City in the second tier previously. 

He remains confident in his ability to thrive at the level and feels he's only getting better with experience. 

He explained, saying: "I feel in a good place mentally. I'm a little bit older, I'm coming off the back of a really good season. 

"That experience last year really helped my progression, my development as a player, but also as a person. Moving north and finding a new home. 

"I'm growing more as a person, as a man I suppose. There's nothing that's going to surprise me about the Championship, I'm ready to take it on."

 


Advertisement block