Barnsley Football Club is delighted to announce that Brad Binns, Will Lancaster and Charlie Winfield have all been offered professional contracts.
The trio have impressed in the Professional Development League at both U18 and U23 level this term, putting in a number of accomplished displays for Tom Harban and Martin Devaney, respectively.
Mercurial midfielder, Binns, has shown his burgeoning potential with timely goals and added more strings to his bow by playing in a more advanced forward role in the later stages of the recent campaign.
He demonstrated his adaptability by scoring a late winner against Birmingham City at the start of March, as our young Reds came from two goals down at the Oakwell Training Ground.
“I’m so proud to have agreed terms on my first professional contract – especially here, where I’ve been since I was 10-years-old,” declared Binns. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and to be rewarded feels amazing, but I know there’s much more work to be done and I can’t wait to get back at it.”
Fellow midfielder, Lancaster, is renowned for his tireless and industrial approach to the game. Often deployed at the base of the diamond, his combative style of play is complimented by an ability to seamlessly transition defence to attack with a fine range of passing skills.
His early season form was recognised with an U23s appearance at Ashton Gate and he has featured frequently amongst the substitutes for Devaney.
“I’m buzzing to agree terms on my first professional contract at Barnsley,” insisted Lancaster. “I’ve been here since I was eight and I’m a big supporter, so this is everything I’ve worked for. I’m looking forward to getting back to the club to show what I can do.”
Adept at playing across the midfield or at full-back, Winfield has put his injury concerns well and truly behind him as he has gone on to establish himself as one of the standout performers at academy level.
His versatility is just one of a number of key attributes and he has been rewarded with seven appearances for our U23s in what has been a breakthrough campaign for the youngster.
“I’m buzzing,” asserted Winfield. “It’s a proud moment for me and my family knowing that all the hard work, not just over the last two years, but since I signed at under 11 has paid off. I’ve just got to keep pushing on and I can’t wait to get back.”
Left-sided player Will Calligan, capable of being deployed in defence or midfield, has been offered and agreed a third-year scholar.
Meanwhile, Henry Kendrick has also agreed a one-year extension at Oakwell with a further year option in the club’s favour.
The young goalkeeper, who was amongst the substitutes for our home game against Luton Town in the 2018/19 campaign, has struggled with injuries this term after an impressive pre-season in France and Germany, but is raring to get back into action once football resumes.
“I’m delighted to have agreed a new deal with the club,” he stated. “It’s been a frustrating season for myself due to injuries, but hopefully they’re behind me and I can push on next season.”
Barnsley FC can also confirm that Ali Omar has agreed a six-month extension, which will keep him in South Yorkshire until at least January 2021.
The towering central defender joined the club in the last transfer window and has proved to be a commanding presence in our U23s backline.
“It really means a lot to me and my family,” said Omar. “I would like to thank the club and coaching staff for giving me this opportunity to express myself. Personally, I can’t wait to get started and really push on.”
Midfielder Ethan Erhahon has returned to Scottish Premier League club St Mirren following his loan spell.
The following players are out of contract and have been released by the club:
Sezgin Aleksiev, Jordan Barnett, Sam Fielding, Harry Gagen, Jake Greatorex, Keziah Martin, Josh Olatubosun, Chris Sang, Tommy Willard and Alex Wollerton.
We would like to thank each player for their efforts and commitment during their time at Oakwell and wish them all the very best for the future.