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It’s been a few years since Barnsley have been in the Championship. The self-proclaimed ‘squatters of the second tier’ are back and are treading water quite nicely so far. Billy Grant caught up with Gareth Lovett from West Stand Bogs fanzine (@weststandbogs) to chat brown envelopes, Adam Hamill’s Olympic toy throwing and that man with the bronze boot Marcello Trotta – did he impress up at Oakwell?

Barnsley seem to be enjoying life in the Championship. How’s it been so far?

Up and down. Great start but having a sticky patch. But the good thing is we’re competing in every game. Had a couple of great away wins at Preston and belting Wolves 4-0 at their place. We’ve blipped recently at home against Villa, Fulham and Newcastle. All of which have 70/80/90 million pound squads. Ours cost £950k.

We’re mid table. I’d settle for that!

You’re not a stranger to this division … has it changed much since you were last here?

Statto attack …. we’ve laiked (local talk, it means played) more games in this division than any other team. Glad to be back. It’s just getting harder and harder. See my previous answer regarding money. EPL2 springs to mind!

As an ‘old school’ fan I’m not a fan … if that makes sense.

You were quiet philosophical in our pre-season previewsNot many people gave you much chance of survival. You seem to have surprised a few. Why is that then?

Momentum. And the fact that we can actually play and score. We were top scorers until last week. A few defensive mistakes recently but as a team and as a squad we are full on at it for 90mins. We have real team spirit and a proper togetherness.

You can’t buy that!

Speaking to Carlo from Red All Over Radio show on our Pride Of West London Podcast (link below) this week, he was impressed with F*lham and Newcastle. What teams have impressed you so far this season??

Carlo is actually one of those policemen from the Fast Show in Holland who sat in their car and were in an intimate relationship. Take no notice of anything he has to offer.

You had a few ex Bees in your side recently. Marmite player Marcello Trotta who famously missed the penalty with the very last kick of the season after wrestling the ball off the regular penalty-taker – that would have put us up to The Championship – against Doncaster. And Alfie Mawson – who was deemed not good enough for our A-team but end up doing the business on loan for Wycombe and then yourselves before signing for Swansea for £5m only 12 months after leaving Brentford. How were they for you?

Trotta? Really? That sums that one up (He’s currently plying his trade for Sassuolo in Serie A although he recently signed on loan to another Serie A side Crotone – Ed)

Alfie… hero! Two Wembley visits. A trophy. And a promotion. Legend.

Great deal for him and Brentford on his move. Great guy and his fantastic off field work was brilliant.

An all round top lad on and off the pitch. And his bird is FAF! (sic). Jammy b@stard…

Assistant manager Tommy Wright taking bungs to place players must have been disappointing for the fans.

I’ll only answer this question for £5k in a carrier bag. Make it £10k and I’ll talk

They say no player should be bigger than the team. Adam Hammill threw his toys out of his pram with Olympic prowess after being subbed against Newcastle? What was that all about?

Who knows?!? I think he’s frustrated. In League 1, he tore everyone a new bum hole. See his two Wembley goals. 35 yard curlers. This season he’s gotta alter his game a bit I reckon. It’s a big step up.

Oakwell is his spiritual home. He’s a real talent and hasn’t performed or settled anywhere else. He’ll be all right. He loves us as much as we love him.

So Saturday … a trip to Brentford … who will cause the Bees a few problems and how will the game pan out???

Connor Hourihane is our main player. Josh Scowen makes us tick but is suspended. Our forwards are much of an even bunch. But they could all notch 15-20 per season if they played 45-50 games.

But that’s far too much info to give you. I’ll not be allowed back into South Yorkshire if I leak any more details.

Score prediction

2-2. We’re on a sticky run but playing OK. Hope we both stay up

and stick it up the footballing ‘elite’.

Modern football is sh!t.


Billy Grant

More Barnsley views

Barnsley’s results have literally gone from one extreme to the other so far this season.

Read more from BBC Radio Sheffield’s Barnsley commentator Adam Oxley in our comprehensive match preview


For Barnsley fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming.

There are now only three pubs around the ground, following the closure of the Royal Oak.

The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal is the other option. They recently raised prices to £5 a pint just on match-day which hasn’t been popular. We’ve never been a huge fan of this pub and that has given us more excuse to swerve.

Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted pre-match pub. This boozer & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd … nestled right in-between the houses) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other .. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’.

The Plough (Northfields Ave … 1 min from tube) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields (it’s a much better pub crawl route getting off at Northfields tube than South Ealing tube) before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route).

There is also a pub right by Brentford station always referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.

For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit  One Over the Ait right on the river – beside the bridge. Views across the Thames. And pretty much the on the site of Brentford Rowing Club where Brentford was born.  The Express Tavern is also a very decent olde skool-feeling ale pub right on Kew Bridge.

There are loads more too if you look around. A quick Google search and you’ll find them all.

Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going North towards and over the A4 Great West Rd (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill Road. Around the Boston Park Road, Whitestile Road, Enfield Road areas.

We believe a Piccadilly Line tube to Northfields then a walk or E2 bus (three stops) is the best option to get to the ground from Kings Cross or Euston as opposed to overground to Brentford as it is normally quicker overall.

You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the tube and Overground here.