BARNSLEY are beginning to conduct preliminary interviews with candidates for their head coach position while they are set to start what looks set to be a major reshaping of their playing squad with the retained list announcement next week.
The Reds parted company with head coach Poya Asbaghi three weeks ago, after relegation from the Championship was confirmed.
He was replaced on a caretaker basis by former player and youth coach Martin Devaney who took over a ‘down and out’ team, with defeats in the final three matches of the season to leave them last.
Devaney is thought to be an option for the long-term role but other candidates are also being considered, with a process underway which includes preliminary meetings and a written questionnaire before a final shortlist will be invited to in-person interviews.
The Reds are hopeful of having a candidate in place before the players begin to return to pre-season training on June 13, ideally sooner.
Devaney’s former role in the academy has been advertised this week, as he is expected to be part of the first team coaching set-up next season whether or not he is head coach.
Whoever takes over is likely to have a very different squad to the one that finished 11 points adrift of safety this season.
The Reds are due to announce their retained list next week.
Players out of contract include Romal Palmer, Aapo Halme and Victor Adeboyejo as well as some who have been loaned out such as George Miller and Tomas Kalinauskas.
The majority are expected to be released although at least one is likely to be offered a new deal.
Players who have mainly been with the under 23s, such as Jordan Helliwell and David Bremang – who both played for the first team on Saturday – and several others, are out of contract this summer.
Some are expected to be offered short-term deals.
There are unlikely to be many transfer developments in the coming weeks, with most players on holiday, but it could become a very busy summer at Oakwell.
Several first team regulars are also expected to leave the club, as they look to make up the roughly £7-8million loss for tumbling out of the Championship and into League One.
The likes of Cauley Woodrow, Carlton Morris, Callum Styles, Callum Brittain, Michal Helik, Mads Andersen and Brad Collins are thought to be of interest to other clubs.
Helik and Woodrow are both entering the final year of their contract while the club announced when they signed the others that they had an option to add an extra year on all their deals until 2024.
It remains to be seen how much money will be spent in the summer market, with clubs still recovering from the financial impact of Covid-19, while the value of Barnsley’s players is likely to have taken a hit after the relegation season in which most of their performance levels dropped significantly.
But the Reds are likely to have to accept offers for players, and may have to move some on before they bring any in.
Aaron Leya Iseka – who signed a three-year deal last summer but has barely featured in the second half of the season – could also be moved on in the summer.
Then there are players who are still in contract but have had limited gametime such as Devante Cole, Isaac Christie-Davies and Clarke Oduor.
The current plan is for them to return to pre-season training and fight for a place in the squad, with a move away possible if they are not involved next season.
The same is true of loan players such as Jack Aitchison and Luke Thomas who gained automatic promotion from League Two with Forest Green Rovers and Bristol Rovers respectively, although Thomas was mainly on the bench.
Patrick Schmidt still has a year on his contract after a generally unsuccessful spell with sister club Esbjerg in the Danish second division, while academy product Joe Ackroyd, 19, is still on loan at Czech second tier club Vyskov.
Accrington centre-back Ross Sykes has been linked to the Reds but several other clubs are also thought to be interested.