MARTIN Devaney would like to be involved in Barnsley’s first team coaching staff in the future but accepts the board’s decisions and is ‘proud to serve this wonderful football club.’
The 41-year-old played more than 150 games for the Reds and still lives in the town while coaching the under 23s at Oakwell. Often coaches in his role will be called into the first team coaching set up as caretakers after a change in manager but, following Markus Schopp’s sacking last week, first team coach Joseph Laumann took charge of the team on his own. Devaney said: “I am proud to serve this wonderful football club, and its fans. It’s no secret that I love it here, and I am honoured to have such a unique connection with so many people at Oakwell. I have overseen the 18s and I’m really enjoying my current position with the 23s but, as I continue on my coaching journey, one day, of course I would love to step up into the first team.
“That being said, I understand my position at the moment and I am excited by working with our young emerging talent on a daily basis. While I am at Barnsley, I will always strive to do my best and give my all for the club.”
Devaney’s under 23s are currently second-bottom in their division with two wins from nine games. He has been low on numbers this year after four players who would usually be in his squad were loaned to Barnsley’s sister club Esbjerg while the likes of Jasper Moon has been with the first team squad.
He said: “When you lose five or six and they haven’t been replaced, it’s tough. It’s left me very short on numbers but it’s not an excuse, it’s a reality and we have to get on with it. We have a lot of players stepping up from the under 18s and and some from the under 16s on the bench which has never happened before. It’s a massive challenge for them physically. You might see one or two develop earlier or you might not. That’s the way it has to be managed at the moment. It’s a challenge and I enjoy it but, in terms of winning football matches, it’s difficult.”
The under 23s lost 2-1 at home to Hull on Monday on the first team pitch.
David Bremang opened the scoring just before the break after a fine move involving Will Hondermarck and Tomas Kalinauskas. The visitors levelled just after the break then scored a 94th-minute penalty conceded by Kareem Hassan-Smith. Devaney said: “It was a penalty and it was a lack of concentration. But we should have had a penalty in the first half and gome in 2-0 at half-time.”
Devaney was disappointed with his two central midfielders Isaac Christie Davies, and Hondermarck. He said: “I expected more from them. They should be dominating in and out of posession. They didn’t really do that. They have been in the first team environment and everyone looks up to them. At times they did well but other times they were inconsistent or poor in their decision-making.”
Striker Bremang has scored two in two. Devaney said: “He has spells where he’s really good but we have to work on his hold-up play because it can be loose and untidy. If you want to be a Championship player, the ball has to stick. But, when he’s facing forward, he is direct and powerful and has a nice left foot.”
Barnsley under 18s were the only one of three teams to win their home games against Hull City. They won 3-0 on Friday as Keegan Hartley scored a long-range screamer then set up Lloyd Smith before Mylon Benjamin completed the scoring. They host Coventry City from 1pm on Friday.