Interview with a Barnsley fan Tuesday, 21st Aug 2018 11:36 by Col
Barnsley are in town tonight, so we've spoken to one of their supporters about all things Barnsley, German managers and Keith Hill.
1) Who are you and how long have you supported Barnsley for? I’m Dan Unwin. I live just over the border in Huddersfield but as a kid I was a Liverpool fan. One day my best mate whose family is from Barnsley said shall we go to a game. I was 15 at the time. It was the 96-97 season. Barnsley had won 5 on the bounce. We saw them lose 3-1 to QPR, however I was hooked. I bought a half season ticket at Christmas after paying for nearly all home games up till then, the rest of the season was amazing. I was there at the game we were promoted. I lost my Redfern shirt that day but didn’t care.
2) What makes Barnsley different to every other team in the league? Barnsley have always had to fight to survive. It nice for once to be able to hold on to a team that has real prospects due to the new owners. With the team underperforming last season we have retained players with real quality and under the right manager should be able to run wild in this league.
3) What are the expectations of the Barnsley supporters for this season? Top Spot. However Barnsley fans don’t expect things to just happen. The town has a history of hard graft, the fans expect this from the players. We don’t really mind if we are beaten so long as the players give 100% the fans are behind them.
4) And how’s things looking so far? It’s been a great start. Unbeaten (ok it’s only been three league games) but it’s looking good. I think a valuable lesson was learnt at Blackpool in the Cup, it’s not always going to fall in to our laps. A good number of games this season we’ll have to roll up our sleeves and fight for the points.
5) You’ve got a new manager in Daniel Stendel – what sort of manager is he on the evidence so far? If you look at the German managers in English football at the minute you can see they are organised and know what they want. The players have this drilled into them. You can see difference in the team. They have a hunger in them that I’ve not seen for a while. I’m always keen to see what a manager does when things aren’t going to plan. It’s early doors but so far the signs look promising.
6) Your club got plenty of headlines last week by reaching out to a supporter undergoing mental health issues. Is this typical of your club? Traditionally like a lot of football clubs Barnsley hasn’t really too vocal with the fans, when the new owners came in one of the key points was they wanted to involve the fans more. Build a real fan experience to a match day and grow the club through fan involvement. You can see this with the way the owners are meeting with fans before games. Buying drinks at away games, the recent letter was an extension of this. I really feel the offer was genuine to help in whatever way possible. You can’t help everyone but if you can reach out to someone who reaches out to someone else it can create a domino effect. I’m a coach at a local football club and we have had a recent tragedy due to mental health, sometimes people just need the opportunity to talk and this is what the club has offered. I’m so proud it’s my club trying to help.
7) Who’s going to be your biggest threat on Tuesday evening? ) it’s difficult to say who’s going to be our biggest threat as it all depends how Dale structure their team. We have players like Mama who can create things all by himself. He’s scored a few already this season. Moore is dangerous in the air, he draws players in to create space for others and can play the ball as well. Bradders work rate will always be a threat to any team. He’s the sort of guy who is a nightmare to mark. I could go on as midfield all join in to make a dangerous attack.
8) Any thoughts on Keith Hill’s time at Barnsley? i’m not sure what happened with Keith at Barnsley. Things were going well the it all just changed. He was probably unlucky due to the way the club was financed at the time. Flitcroft was his number two and took over from Keith but hit the same struggles.
9) Aside from KH, any thoughts on Rochdale? Other than being from the wrong side of the Pennines there are real similarities with Barnsley and Rochdale. Both teams have a right fight in them not just on the pitch but also for the club to keep going. I watched Dale in the fa Cup last year and also followed the pitch saga. It was nice to hear the chairman come on talk sport and defend his ground staff and also the club from the press.
10) Predictions for the game? I know fans always predict their team will win and sometimes you read the scores and roll your eyes as a fan of the opposition but the way we took the game to Bradford and reading on social media what the Bantams fans were saying about how good we were it’s hard not to break traditions. I’m going for a 3-0, we not conceded a goal with our best line up. Sorry to the Dale fans but I think it’s going to be a tough game. I’m unfortunately on holiday in Lanzarote but I’ll be doing my best to keep up with the game. Best of luck to both teams.