Barnsley FC striker Andrew Dallas learning off the perfect teacher in Jon Stead at his own finishing school at Oakwell

ANDREW DALLAS has enrolled into finishing school in his bid to finally make the grade at EFL level.

In that regard, the Barnsley striker considers himself to be very fortunate to have the perfect teacher to learn from on a daily basis in regard to the art of forward play.

Jon Stead's playing days saw him total over 700 appearances and score over 150 goals. His 12 professional clubs included four Yorkshire ones in Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Harrogate Town.

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Now carving out a niche in his ‘second career’ in the game on the coaching front at Barnsley, the knowledge and nous of Stead, assistant to Neill Collins at Oakwell, is being tapped into by Dallas.

Barnsley striker Andrew Dallas. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.Barnsley striker Andrew Dallas. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.
Barnsley striker Andrew Dallas. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.

A keen student of his craft and willing learner, the 24-year-old is determined to grasp his opportunity at this level with both hands after dropping down into National League circles to get back on the goal trail at first Solihull Moors and then Chesterfield after a low-key spell in the lower-leagues at Cambridge United.

Working closely alongside Stead - who knows a thing or two about scoring goals across the EFL – and honing his trade was something that ticked another box in terms of deciding to reject rival interest to join Barnsley.

Dallas, who got off and running with Barnsley with a late goal on the opening day against Port Vale, said: "That was part of me coming as well (presence of Stead).

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"I like working with striker coaches and looking at the players who were already here, it's about taking bits out of their game.

"We've had different finishing practices and stuff. I think there's no way that I can't get better in an environment like this with the professionalism and sports science and hopefully the backing of the fans and club.

"I don't purely judge myself on goals, but it obviously helps. I'd like to be more of a goalscorer in terms of stretching defences and getting in those spaces and being a threat in behind. That's a part of me growing as an all-round player."

Dallas started his career at a huge football institution in Glasgow Rangers.

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Despite being the club's top-scorer in the reserve league, the Scot found established players barring his way to the first team.

Like countless other young players who start out at big clubs, his break arrived elsewhere.

Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Dallas knuckled down and after dipping his toes in non-league, he has his chance at Barnsley, wiser for his own experiences.

He continued: "It's one of those. Maybe in the future, I will look back in hindsight and see what a jump it was (starting at Rangers).

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"That's the business we are in and I've had to learn that the hard way. Scoring a few goals in the last few seasons gets that interest back up again and you earn another layer and it toughens you up.

"Barnsley have a track record of bringing young boys of my age through and making them better with the right manager. It's a golden opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down."