Barnsley FC's eye caught by ball-playing qualities of defender as he swaps Pontefract Collieries for Oakwell under-21 set-up

Barnsley have signed a late developer good at playing the ball out from the back in Jack Shepherd.

The 21-year-old left-sided centre-back has joined Barnsley's under-21 set-up after a successful trial.Academy manager Bobby Hassell hopes Barnsley-born Shepherd will be another example of the Reds' history of recruiting well from non-league football paying off."Jack joined us on trial at the latter stages of last season, hailing from the non-league team Pontefract," he said. "He is a late developer, and his potential was brought to my attention early in the season by the recruitment team."We are grateful to Pontefract's manager, Craig Rouse, for being accommodating and allowing Jack to trial with us."He has displayed promising qualities when it comes to ball possession and has a good selection of passing attributes. Our club has a successful history of developing players from non-league backgrounds, and we hope that Jack will contribute to that trend. We are excited to work with Jack and see how he can further progress within our set-up."Barnsley have a proud recent history of developing defenders, with Manchester City's John Stones – perhaps the country's best ball-playing defender – graduating from Oakwell along with the likes of Mason Holgate and Alfie Mawson.