Coach famed for producing top Barnsley talents says goodbye after 20 years at Oakwell

Outgoing Barnsley head of academy Mark Burton says that he will always hold the Reds close to his heart after electing to leave Oakwell to pursue other interests following a twenty-year-association with the club.
Mark BurtonMark Burton
Mark Burton

Burton has elected to head for pastures new after a successful spell as academy supremo, where he and former academy boss Ronnie Branson helped bring through the likes of John Stones, Mason Holgate and James Bree and many others.

Burton's long association with the club also saw him take caretaker charge of the first-teamm alongside current head coach Paul Heckingbottom following Danny Wilson's exit in February 2015.

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He joined Barnsley's playing staff as a YTS trainee at the age of 16 and after finishing playing at a young age, he was taken on as a part-time coach by Wilson and went full-time in 2005.

In a statement, Burton said: "During my time at Barnsley FC, I have held a number of roles and been very influential in numerous players coming through the system.

"Players like John Stones, Mason Holgate, James Bree and Jacob Butterfield are all Championship and Premiership standard as well as League One and Two players George Maris, Danny Rose, Jordan Clark, Rhys Oates, George Smith and Reuben Noble-Lazarus among others. This said, I am just as proud of the citizens of society we produce.

"Personally, I will always hold Barnsley FC close to my heart. I was a YTS player, professional player and captain of the first team as well as caretaker manager for a successful spell with a win ratio of 66.6 per cent.

"I wish Barnsley FC all the best for the future and (will) hopefully see young players coming through playing for the first team and keeping up the good work already being done there."