ADAM HAMMILL is confident that Barnsley will prosper under Paul Heckingbottom’s brave new world – and believes he is the perfect long-term fit for the club.
Heckingbottom was confirmed, as expected, as the club’s full-time head coach earlier this week, the day after Hammill penned fresh terms and agreed a two-year deal.
Both played leading roles in the club’s spectacular and remarkable upturn in the second half of the last campaign which culminated in promotion to the Championship and Hammill believes that the club can now kick on under Heckingbottom, who has signed a rolling 12-month deal.
Hammill said: “Paul helped me massively. Even on the sidelines, you could see his passion and he’s got a great personality and gets the best out of players.
“He shows players care, which some need and he will put an arm around your shoulder. But at the right time he will also put a rocket up your backside.
“It is everything you need from a manager and personally, I get on fantastically with him. We gave each other a lot of respect and everything is a great fit.”
Hammill may have admitted that he let his heart rule his head in electing to re-sign with the Reds despite considerable second-tier interest from the likes of Reading and Bristol City, but he is equally unequivocal that the club can make an impact in the Championship.
While his emotional ties with the club are obvious, the 28-year-old, who plans to move his family from their home in Liverpool to South Yorkshire after pledging his commitment to the Reds, also believes that the club possess the tools to surprise people in 2016-17 and should not be fearful.
Hammill added: “The biggest thing for me was keeping hold of the core of the squad. They are talented lads and top human beings who are a pleasure to work with.
“Keeping that team spirit and momentum going forward means that it is going to be an exciting season.
“We are not going to go into the league to be fearful. We are going to actually relish the challenge of going to the likes of St James’ Park and Villa Park and you want to be playing against the best players in the league.
“There’s no reason why we can’t go in and establish ourselves as a Championship club next year with the players we have got at the club and what we are going to add.”
An on-pitch catalyst for the Reds’ rise, Hammill now believes the club will receive his peak career years and a player who will be mentally and physically reinvigorated for Barnsley’s Championship challenge.
Hammill said: “They are getting me at an age where midfielders generally peak which is 28 to 32 and a player who is fully focused on his job and knows what he wants in football, which is getting back to the top.
“Next season, I will also be in a lot better physical condition, I will play a lot more games and my mental side of the game is also on the ball again.
“It is an opportunity for me to show why I played in the Championship for a long time and maybe turn doubters into believers again.”