Barnsley: New boy Berry targets first team

Youngster Jack Cowgill has signed a new two-year deal with Barnsley. Picture: Barnsley FC
Youngster Jack Cowgill has signed a new two-year deal with Barnsley. Picture: Barnsley FC

New signing Luke Berry is not at Barnsley to make up the numbers.

The 22-year-old has yet to play League Football having spent his career so far playing for Cambridge United in the Blue Square Premier Division and the Football Conference.

But this season will see the youngster make the jump to League One football having joined the Reds on a three-year deal last week.

Reds manager Danny Wilson sees plenty of potential in Berry and has backed the player to rise to the challenge of playing at a higher level.

“I can definitely step up to this level” said Berry. “I’m excited about playing with better players.

“I want to learn more about the game, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve played over 100 games (for Cambridge) - and I’ve learnt a lot in those games. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead for this season.

“At the end of the day I’m not a person who wants to be sitting on the substitutes’ bench. I’m like any other player, I want to be playing.

“I want to be in the team and doing everything I can to progress. I want to play as many games as I can.”

Berry is one of nine new players signed by Wilson for the Reds’ first season back in League One.

And with Conor Hourihane and James Bailey having also been recruited, Berry knows he faces stiff competition in midfield for a regular starting place.

But at the same time he’s confident he can “bring quite a lot of the table” at Oakwell.

Berry added: “It’s looking really exciting here at the moment.

“We’ve got a great bunch of lads here and we’re all looking forward to starting the season strongly.

“I’m a box-to-box midfielder and I’ll get goals. I’d like to create things and I’d like to think I can bring quite a lot to the table.

“I’ve lived in Cambridge all my life, so it’s a big move for me to join Barnsley.

“I’ve moved away and I’ll have to take more responsibility in my life, so that’s a big challenge for me.”

However, fellow summer recruit Kane Hemmings is unlikely to start the season having yet to feature in pre-season because of ankle injury.

Hemmings didn’t feature in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

And so it looks like Sam Winnall and Danny Rose is going to be Wilson’s preferred attacking duo for the club’s opening game at home to Crawley Town on Saturday.

Midfielder James Bailey picked up an injury in the warm-up against the Owls at the weekend, but The Star understands he was only rested as a precautionary measure.

Centre-back Martin Cranie has captained the team in all of their pre-season friendlies thus far and is again expected to skipper the Reds this season despite rumours he was going to leave the club this season.

Meanwhile, teenage defender Jack Cowgill was all smiles yesterday as he signed a new two-year deal.

Cowgill, aged 17, has featured for the Reds in pre-season and is highly-rated at Oakwell.