I started this article last night and published the first part which included Alfie Mawson, Conor Hourihane, Sam Winnall, Ryan Kent and Mason Holgate. Tonight I look at five more players that Heckingbottom improved during his time at Barnsley, and it makes you realise how influential he cane be, and how many players were sold from under him in South Yorkshire.
Marc Roberts – Now at Birmingham City but this player made a fast rise in terms of development in this league. Under Heckingbottom he became a very good centre-back and eventually got his £3.5 million move to Birmingham City. Is it coincidence he can’t replicate that form away from Barnsley and Heckingbottom? A real leader when he was in South Yorkshire.
John Stones – The most high-profile player to come from Barnsley in many years. The defender has had a staggering rise from the Barnsley youth team through Everton and now for England and Manchester City. Heckingbottom was a key coach in the development squad for Stones, and the list of quality players under Heckingbottom continues.
James Bree – Hasn’t really progressed enough under Steve Bruce at Aston Villa, especially after how well he was doing under Heckingbottom at Barnsley. Another youth player who burst onto the first-team scene at Oakwell and was sold rapidly without Heckingbottom having any say in the matter. Very good young footballer who will probably need to move away from Villa at some stage. Was part of the deal double-deal with Conor Hourihane last January.
Josh Scowen – Some may not know much about this player but in terms of how individuals improve at clubs this one is right up there. Scowen left Barnsley on a pre-contract agreement, heading to London and Queens Park Rangers. A very tidy player and developed into a key cog in the Barnsley engine room under Heckingbottom at Barnsley.
Angus Macdonald – The most recent player to move from Barnsley and you have to say, looking at the list, if the board didn’t sell all of the players you are looking at a play-off side in the making. Macdonald is a very good centre-back and was the last player to move before Heckingbottom. Sold for £700k to Hull City, a disastrous deal from a Barnsley point of view, a tough defender who goes in where it hurts.