HELLO Reds fans, it’s a pleasure to be writing to you in this week’s Barnsley Chronicle to provide an update on a number of fronts ahead of the 24/25 campaign which kicks off in August.

Anyone with an interest in football will be gripped by Euros fever currently, however, I must admit, I am writing this column deep in preparation for our upcoming season - so it’s the first Euros in a while that won’t have my full attention.

There have been some brilliant games already and I’m sure the Three Lions will do well in the tournament.

It’s fantastic to see our club represented in Germany this summer, with Reds academy product John Stones leading by example at the back for Gareth Southgate, flanked by former loanee Kieran Trippier who always seems to put in consistent performances when in an England shirt.

Obviously, we have Callum Styles out there representing Hungary.

He missed out on the first group games as they came just too quickly for him following an injury he picked up in a warm-up match, but good luck to Callum for the remainder of the tournament and we hope he and the team go far in the championships - just not at the expense of England, of course.

Closer to home, we have been working hard in the background to make sure we are as well prepared as we can come the first whistle of the new season in seven weeks’ time.

Darrell has already demonstrated a positive attitude and commitment to his work in his short time at the club so far. He has been at the stadium most days planning and meeting key members of staff to ensure next season is a successful one for the club.

That goes for players as well who have been back in training early and off their own backs to make sure they are in optimal shape come the return to official training on July 1.

I’d like to thank our backroom staff for volunteering to come in earlier than planned to put on sessions which will ultimately benefit the development and condition of the players.

I know some of the lads have been working hard away from Barnsley, but it is also important this is combined with rest to ensure we are fresh and revitalised to tackle another demanding campaign.

We were all delighted to be able to welcome Conor Hourihane back to Barnsley last week in a player-coach role.

After meeting Conor, it was clear he had a passion for coaching and the next step in his career, whilst knowing he can still contribute on the pitch. His experience will be vital for our squad. There isn’t much Conor hasn’t seen in league football and we are delighted he has chosen Oakwell to forge the next step in his illustrious career; Darrell and I are extremely looking forward to working with him.

On the recruitment front, we have identified our targets and are in negotiations to make these acquisitions happen. We all want to make sure Darrell has the tools to achieve our objective this season which is promotion. We can take learnings from our previous campaigns, where we have come close, to take into this season and provide a team that the Barnsley fans can be really proud of.

That is our motivation and that is what we are working towards every day. I will be sure to keep communicating with supporters, whether it be in the Barnsley Chronicle like this, or via the club’s official channels.

I know that communication is vitally important as a supporter of a football club and we will aim to provide updates as and when different parts of the plan for this season come together.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the summer (the sun is shining whilst I write this, finally) and look forward to seeing you back at Oakwell.