Newcastle United v Barnsley: Paul Heckingbottom takes break before tackling heavy summer workload

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom.
Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom.
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MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom jets out to New York City this month to recharge ahead of a busy summer of rebuilding Barnsley’s squad for next season.

The Reds conclude their first campaign beck in the Championship at Newcastle United tomorrow, with little to play for but pride.

It has been a testing 12 months for rookie boss Heckingbottom, who saw several key players sold off in January, making their mid-table finish more than respectable.

But with six loan players also leaving after tomorrow’s game, Heckingbottom knows only too well the challenge to prepare for August starts again very quickly.

First, he plans to take his wife on a mini-trip to the ‘Big Apple’, before a family holiday.

“My phone will be off,” said Heckingbottom. “I’m going to spend time with my missus; we’re going to New York for a few days and then we’re taking the kids away at half-term.

I’m going to spend time with my missus; we’re going to New York for a few days and then we’re taking the kids away at half-term.

Barnsley boss, Paul Heckingbottom

“I’ll miss the football. The matches, training, I’ll miss the players. I was one of those players who hated pre-season, but even last summer as a coach I wasn’t that keen either, because I was just itching to get the games started.

“But I am having a break this year because I didn’t really get one last year.”

While shopping may be on the agenda in New York, Heckingbottom – who will deliver his retained player list next week – also knows he faces a challenge in the summer sales when it comes to the transfer market back on UK soil.

“I’ll be meeting and speaking with the players next week before they head off,” he said. “We’ll sit down and, based on the planning we’ve done, we will make our decisions. So we’re probably looking at late next week for the list.

“We’ve got six loanees going back, we’ve players out of contract, so we know we’re going to have a hell of a lot of work.”