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Interviews

JONATHAN BLAND ON U18S PLAY-OFFS

11 May 2024

Interviews

JONATHAN BLAND ON U18S PLAY-OFFS

11 May 2024

U18s skipper Jonathan Bland discusses the young Reds reaching the play-offs in back-to-back seasons.

Bland captained our U18s to the PDL title last campaign, winning the play-off final against Charlton Athletic in dramatic fashion at Oakwell.

The young Reds have chance to win in the play-offs once again, and will line up against the Addicks in the semi-final, this time in the capital. A 3-0 win against Wigan Athletic in the week secured the second spot for Nicky Eaden's men - an achievement that has brought a lot of satisfaction this time around.

"A bit of relief really, I think more than anything" admitted the 18-year-old. "I think at the start of the year we were looking at going to the play-offs definitely as a minimum. We'd have liked to have won back-to-back PDL's but sometimes it doesn't happen."

Across the campaign our U18s have fielded a number of youngsters playing up in age groups, sometimes through necessity due to injuries and U21 call-ups.

However, the young side have shown resilience and calmness under pressure to deliver results amidst a battle for the coveted second spot.

"We were on top, we're going to be finishing second quite comfortably probably by February, then this last couple of months has been quite hard for us," continued the midfielder. "We've had quite a few going up and playing U21s, a few out injured, it's stretched the squad quite thin. Which I think us coming back and beating Sheffield Wednesday on points even more impressive. 

"Now we're getting players back and back from the U21s, it's good. It's a good group."

The full interview with Jonathan Bland is now available to watch on iFollow Barnsley.


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