Aiden Marsh says being around the Barnsley squad during their remarkable run to safety was a ‘great experience’ and only made him more determined to become a regular for his hometown club.

The 17-year-old from Monk Bretton, who signed a new three-year deal last week, is yet to make his first team debut but was on the bench twice last season under Gerhard Struber.  He trained with the first team during lockdown and was the extra man in the squad for many of the final nine matches, often sitting in the East Stand to throw the ball back as the ground was otherwise empty. 

Marsh told the Chronicle: “It was an amazing experience. To be in and around it was great, with what the club achieved in the end. Nobody ever lost hope or believed that we weren’t going to do it.  There was always a good feeling. It has helped me learn about the environment I will be in as a professional.” 

Marsh is currently recovering from a hamstring injury and has recently returned to training. He says head coach Struber texted him when the injury happened and that the pair get on well. 

“I think we have got a good relationship. If I ever need anything, I can go up to him and ask him about it.  He’s always there to talk to. He gives me advice on what I can do better and how I can progress.  Adam Murray is in the first team coaching staff as well. He was my under 18s coach so I have a very good relationship with him as well.”

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Marsh has seen the likes of Clarke Oduor, Romal Palmer and Matty Wolfe make their league debuts under Struber.  He said: “It gives you an incentive to do well. You know that, if you’re playing well, the club is are willing to give you a chance no matter how old you are.”

Marsh was thrilled to secure his future at the club until 2023.  He said: “I am absolutely delighted to sign my first professional contract. Being a Barnsley fan, it’s like a dream come true to be a footballer at the club. 

“Growing up, all I dreamed of doing was running out at Oakwell and that’s what I am working towards now. Most of my family are from Barnsley. Everyone was running around the house when I got the contract.”