Jon Stead on Barnsley FC coaches covering bases across the pitch - and mixing it up with first-team squad

IN TERMS of providing coaching expertise in specific areas across the pitch, Barnsley have their bases pretty well covered.

Head coach Neill Collins was a centre-half of note in his playing days, while assistant Jon Stead operated as a successful striker for a host of clubs. Assistant head coach Martin Devaney was a winger who became a favourite at Oakwell.

Their playing experiences in selective roles are being used to impart their knowledge in their own particular 'fields’ on a daily basis to the first-team squad –but also provide a different slant in other areas as well.

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Stead, who played for four Yorkshire clubs in Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Harrogate Town, said: "We do a lot of unit work. With strikers, it's not just finishing, but every aspect of their game.

Barnsley assistant coach Jon Stead. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.Barnsley assistant coach Jon Stead. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.
Barnsley assistant coach Jon Stead. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.

"Neil has that aspect with the defenders and Davvers has been fantastic with the midfielders and wing-backs.

"We have kind of got every base covered, which is really good between the three of us.

"We can go against each other as well. I can work with the defenders at times and discuss what a striker likes and doesn't like - and what it's like playing against a big and a small man and Neil can do the same with strikers at times.

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"We have all got that cross-over, which is great. It means we are interacting with everybody and can keep mixing it up and make sure players are hearing a different voice, aspect and perspective.

"Every side of the game is evolving and it's trying to give more information to the players and more resources they need."

Barnsley, who were in FA Cup action on Tuesday night in a first-round replay at non-league Horsham, are next in action at Yorkshire rivals Bradford in their final EFL Trophy group game on November 21.

The Reds return to League One duties at Lincoln City four days later.