Academy is key to Barnsley success, says Dane Murphy

IN terms of recruitment strategies, Barnsley and Brentford have few peers at Championship level.

Dane Murphy, chief executive at Barnsley. Picture: Barnsley FC

It is why it should come as no surprise, in that regard, that both are enjoying strong seasons and increasingly being held up as examples to follow.

Much has also been made of the Bees success in terms of closing their academy back in 2016 and establishing a ‘B Team’ model to simplify the pathway to the first team with a significantly lower financial outlay, with a number of talents from overseas – and not necessarily homegrown ones – coming to the fore.

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But Barnsley – whose ability to develop academy talent has been forged over many years – are not actively looking to follow that strategy, even in financially-compromised times due to Covid-19.

Reds chief executive officer Dane Murphy said: “There are different approaches for every club. We feel right now that the best thing for Barnsley is to have our academy.

“You can see the players who have come through to the first team squad in the last 18 months and what they have been able to achieve and influence that we have a very good group coming through in the (under) 16s and 18s and our 23s are doing extremely well.

“We are going to continue to emphasise and make sure we can develop players through our academy as that is our model and best way to move forward – having players come through our system. That is extremely important to us.”

Barnsley players are currently having some valuable time recharging their batteries ahead of a key run-in, which starts at home to play-off rivals Reading on Good Friday.

A remarkable run of form under Valerien Ismael has created one of the EFL stories of the season and Murphy is quick to pay tribute.

He commented: “There are several variables as to why he has been as successful as he has.

“He has been at big clubs, done great things in his career and had an incredible playing career.

“But more than anything it is his self-belief. This is a self-assurance and security with who he is and what he is trying to do which allows him to be successful.

“It is who he is as a person and what he is able to accomplish given the security he has within himself.”

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