YOU could say that George Moncur and Andy Yiadom had a significant vested interest in Barnsley sealing their return to the Championship at Wembley in late May.
Both watched the Reds’ play-off campaign avidly on the television, with Yiadom viewing events from afar while on holiday in Thailand – the ex-Barnet captain having joined the Reds shortly before the end of their momentous 2015-16 season.
Despite not having yet signed for the club, Moncur was well aware of the interest from Oakwell and admits he was willing the club to promotion, mindful they were at the top of a list of suitors who wanted him.
Now Moncur is a Reds player, having been unveiled on a three-year deal after joining for an undisclosed six-figure fee, despite plenty of rival interest.
The 22-year-old, who hit 14 goals for Colchester last term, cannot wait to get started in his first foray in the second-tier.
He said: “I finished at Colchester last season and knew Barnsley were interested and watched every play-off game and was really happy they went up.
“There were a few other clubs interested. But I went on holiday and chilled out and got a phone call that Colchester had accepted a bid and when I found that out, I was really happy.
“I cannot wait to get going. You look at some of the bigger teams in the Championship and playing at stadiums like Newcastle United and Norwich. Every game is a big one.
“It is a step up from League One and a hard task. But, hopefully, we can get through it and do well in the league.”
Moncur, son of former West Ham United midfielder John – who spent a loan spell early in his career at Doncaster – will not be short of a familiar face ‘up north’ in Elliott Lee, son of former Newcastle and England player Robert.
Both were together at the start of their careers at Upton Park and at Colchester last term where Lee was on loan and Moncur says that his presence represents an added bonus.
He added: “I have known him for years and, off the field, we are great friends. It is nice to have him up here with me.
“We will be in an apartment, but I will probably get my own place once I am settled in.
“Elliott is a really sharp and lively player and probably one of the best finishers I have seen and he will bring a lot of finishing skills to the team.”
Another southerner looking forward to sampling the Championship is utility man Yiadom, also desperate for Barnsley to seal promotion at the end of last season.
Barnsley had pursued the 24-year-old utility man since last summer, maintaining their interest despite seeing several bids rebuffed, with their persistence paying off.
Yiadom said: “It is brilliant that Barnsley are in the Championship and I was in Thailand when they were promoted.
“I was aware of Barnsley’s interest before. But I was at Barnet, so I was concentrating on our task in hand.
“But I wanted to play at the highest level possible and really did want to get a move here.”