BARNSLEY have confirmed Darrell Clarke as their new head coach on a two-year contract, with a club option of a third.

The 46-year-old moves from Cheltenham Town for a six-figure compensation fee, the Chronicle understands.

The former Salisbury, Bristol Rovers and Walsall boss has managed in almost 500 professional games, winning five promotions.

He took charge of Cheltenham last September when they had taken one point and scored no goals in their first ten games then almost kept them up but they were relegated from League One on the final day last month.

Martin Devaney has also signed a new deal as Assistant Head Coach.

Clarke said: "I’m absolutely delighted, I can’t wait to get started. I’m proud to be managing this football club, I’m really looking forward to it.

"I didn’t need to be sold on the club, it’s got huge potential and I’m excited to get myself going and get the squad rebuilt and try to push on for a promotion challenge.”

"Sporting Director, Mladen Sormaz, said: “We are pleased to bring Darrell to Barnsley, his style of play is attacking and aggressive and he has shown that he can quickly get strong performances and results at his previous clubs.

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"Darrell has a strong track record in the EFL and is an ambitious head coach who has consistently been able to get teams promoted and has spent a significant period of time at each club - we believe he’s the right man to help us achieve our aim of promotion to the Championship.

“After a thorough search including meeting with a number of candidates in person in recent weeks, I had the most immediate connection with Darrell and appreciated how open and direct he was when we spoke,

"I believe for Barnsley to be successful in the coming seasons, clear and open communication and alignment between us both will be key.

"I felt that Darrell deserved the opportunity come and test himself at a Club which wants to push for promotion from League One. Darrell’s personality, vision for the project and excitement for the challenge have set him apart from other candidates and I am sure our supporters will join me in welcoming him to the Club."