Barnsley U23s are back in action for the New Year when they travel to Wigan Athletic on Monday afternoon.
Martin Devaney’s side picked up a point in their last outing at Hull City three weeks ago in what was a commanding display against the Tigers, and Jordan Helliwell insists that he and his teammates are raring to continue their forward momentum.
The versatile youngster is in contention to make his return from injury at Christopher Park and is confident of a positive result against the Latics.
“We had a good performance at Hull – I didn’t travel, but we’ve watched it back on the analysis and the lads played really well and were perhaps disappointed not to get the win,” said Helliwell.
“But, it the end, a draw was a good result and, like I said, it was a decent performance from the lads to end the year.
“It’s been a bit frustrating for me being out injured and not being able to play, but I’m happy to hopefully be back in the team to play against Wigan. All the boys have been looking forward to it in training and working hard, so we’re hoping to get a good result.”
Just one point and one place separate the two sides heading into this game, with Barnsley sitting slightly higher than their hosts at the midway stage of the Professional Development League campaign.
However, the young Reds will be looking to exact a bit of revenge after suffering a 4-1 humbling at the hands of Wigan back in September.
“It wasn’t our best team performance, but we feel like we’re capable of going there and beating them,” continued Helliwell. “It’s obviously going to be a very difficult game but, with how we’ve all been training and working hard over Christmas, I think we can go there and get three points.”
Helliwell made his first team debut in our Checkatrade Trophy clash with Bradford City last season, coming from the bench to replace Victor Adeboyejo late on at Oakwell.
There is still a strong pathway for young talent within our academy to take that next step – as demonstrated by the recent emergence of Elliot Simoes, who scored his first Barnsley goal at Derby County on Thursday evening.
“It encourages you to work hard in training to try and get the opportunities to push up to the first team,” asserted Helliwell. “If you get a chance to train with them, the gaffer might see something in you because he’s giving players an opportunity.”
You can find out how our U23s fare against Wigan by following updates on our official Academy Twitter account: @AcademyBFC. Kick-off at 1pm.