A player by player look at Barnsley's title-winning under 18s squad.
The goalkeeper, from Barnsley, is a first year scholar having been at the club for eight years.
Bobby Hassell said: “He has one of the best attitudes I have seen in any scholar. He’s a great size for a goalkeeper, he’s had a fantastic season.”
Nicky Eaden added: “We have a really good ‘keeper on our hands. You have to drag him off the training pitch at times.”
The Londoner – who alternates starts with Ravenhill in goal – has been called up to the senior squad of Caribbean island Montserrat, along with team-mate Mylan Benjamin, but they declined it for now. Hassell said: “He had never been in an academy before he joined us and was a centre-back until he was about 14. But he’s a good shot-stopper with another great attitude.”
The right wing-back from Darfield is a second year scholar, having been at the club for six years.
Eaden said: “He has a great delivery and got three assists on Saturday. He needs to be more consistent but he’s a really Barnsley player with his work-rate and attitude.”
The centre-back joined two years ago after leaving Derby. Hassell said: “He has had a fantastic two years. He came in originally as centre mid but has made centre half his own. He’s probably been the most consistent player over the last two seasons. He’s only six foot but he wins all his aerial duels.”
The centre-back from West Yorkshire is the fastest player in the team and is always used to mark the opposition’s best striker.
Eaden said: “He’s an athlete and technically good, but we’ve had to work on the mental side because he used to have a mistake in him. We could have a player on our hands with him.”
The centre-back missed 14 months after an eye injury then various others. Hassell said: “In the games he has played he’s done really well.”
The left-back is the leading assist-maker and has been in the under 18s since he was 15, now a second year scholar. Hassell said: “He needs to improve his mentality and be more driven, but he has the potential to get in the first team”
After being released by Manchester United, he signed for Barnsley as a striker but has been converted into a left wing-back this season.
Hassell said: “He’s technically fantastic and really quick. He doesn’t want to defend but going forward he’s the best I have seen at category two level for a long time.”
The central midfielder, and Wales youth international, joined Barnsley last year after ten years at West Bromwich Albion.
Hassell said: “He’s possibly been our best player this year. He is a centre mid but he played in the middle of a back three because of injuries and it was easy for him. He knows the game tactically and is good on the ball. He has a real chance.”
The defensive midfielder has been at the club for five years.
Eaden said: “I have seen a lot of players try to be Claude Makelele but JC actually resembles that.”
Hassell added: “He’s been outstanding this season. He’s one of the best I have seen at winning second balls. He’s brilliant at interceptions, great at the press and counter-press which is important at Barnsley.”
The forward, like his close friend Fabio Jalo, moved from Portugal to West Yorkshire then joined the Reds academy. Hassell said: “He’s scored ten goals which you don’t generally get for a first year. There’s a lot of talk about his best mate Fabio but he could be a surprise package going forward.”
The first year striker from Leeds has been in good goal-scoring form recently, netting twice on Saturday.
Eaden said: “He’s relentless, sprints everywhere and works so hard for the team. He is a nightmare to play against. He’s one player you are willing to do well because of his attitude.”
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has been excellent in the youth teams and made his first team debut off the bench in the FA Cup earlier this season.
Hassell said: “It’s been too easy for him at times in the under 18s. We’re expecting big things from him. He’s got a lot of ability.”
The first year scholar is one of the most exciting academy players for years.
He has played 11 first team games this season, scoring twice, and made his debut for Portugal under 18s having been on stand-by for England.
Hassell said: “He’s only played a handful of games for the 18s but, if he’d played 25 games, he would have 40 goals. Not many first year scholars have played 11 first team games.
“There’s a lot more to come but he’s the best attacking talent I’ve seen come through here.”
‘Faz’ is a first team scholar and tall striker.
Hassell said: “He’s six foot three, he is mobile and scores goals. He has a really good chance.”
The first year scholar from Chester joined at under 16s level after being in Liverpool’s academy.
He is a Wales youth international.
Hassell said: “He’s had a really good season.
“He’s six foot three but needs to get stronger.
“He loves a tackle, is an intelligent player and can score goals.”
The son of former Barnsley defender Rob Kozluk is a first year scholar and wing-back.
Eaden said: “He’s not the biggest physically but you can see straight away he has a football brain.
“He is a good passer, a hard-worker and he’s bought into our way of playing.”