Barnsley U23s are in South Yorkshire derby action on Monday afternoon as they travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the Professional Development League.
The young Reds are looking to bounce back from the narrow 2-1 defeat to Burnley in their last outing, but, despite the result, it was an encouraging performance from Martin Devaney’s side.
Jordan Helliwell believes there were plenty of positives to take from the Clarets’ game and says he and his teammates are learning every week.
“I thought we played well in the first half and dealt with them,” insisted the young defender. “Compared to us, they’re a bit older and more physical, so it was tough, and we made a couple of mistakes which led to their two goals. It was unfortunate because we had chances to get something from the game as well.
“Throughout the season, I think we’ve played well so far and had some good results. We’ve also had some games where we’ve needed improvement, but those are the games where we learn more.”
Helliwell only turned 18 last month but doesn’t look out of place playing at an older age group. In fact, his burgeoning potential and talent saw him make his first team debut last season.
Another fledgling is fellow defender Rudi Pache, who is still just 17-years-old but is adjusting well to U23s football.
“It’s obviously more physical and a faster tempo, but we’re both adapting well and forming relationships with other players in the team,” continued Helliwell. “It’s a learning curve in training and in games as well, and it all helps us improve as players.”
Sheffield Wednesday have won just once in their last five outings and come into this clash on the back of a 4-2 defeat against Bolton Wanderers.
The Reds ran out 2-1 winners in this fixture last season, and Helliwell is confident that his side can repeat the feat if they play to their potential.
“With it being a derby, it gets the lads a bit more fired up,” he claimed. “There’ll probably be big tackles because both teams will want to win, but I think, with how we’ve been training and playing recently, that we can beat them.
“Because we’ve beat them before, we know we can beat them again so we’re going there looking for a win.”
You can watch our U23s in the South Yorkshire derby at Stocksbridge Park Steels on Monday 28 October, kick-off at 12pm.
Alternatively, you can follow updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC.