IF ANY player would appreciate a swing of the derby pendulum this lunch-time, it is Adam Hammill.
The mercurial Barnsley winger may prefer to brush over recent history of this particular Hillsborough fixture – having been controversially sent off in the Reds’ 2-0 loss last December – but the potential to pen a rather more positive chapter would not have been lost upon him either.
Hammill, whose harsh-looking dismissal following a challenge with Owls rival Sam Hutchinson incensed Reds players, staff and fans alike, reflected: “It is football. People get sent off and make mistakes and it adds to the occasion with a little bit of drama and the fans are talking about it. But for me personally, it is history and I never look back.
“Derbies also have moments of magic and inspiration which can get fans on their feet and it is what derbies are about – late goals, entertainment and drama.”
For many Reds players, it will be their first taste of a Hillsborough derby and Hammill admits that a number have asked him about this particular fixture’s intensity this week.
Hammill, very much the senior man in the Barnsley dressing room these days, said: “They do not need me to be telling them. I have had a few questions this week from the likes of Joe Williams and a few players have been asking me about the atmosphere and occasion.
I did not need to blow it up; I told them exactly what it is – a tough, fast, competitive game which the fans get involved in.Adam Hammill
“I did not need to blow it up; I told them exactly what it is – a tough, fast, competitive game which the fans get involved in.
“But we have got plenty of players who know what it is about with the likes of Davo (Adam Davies), whose played for both clubs and myself and Yids (Andy Yiadom), who last year refused to go off with a broken collarbone.
“That just proves how much it means to the players and who much we want to get the points for the fans.”