Barnsley: Sam Winnall still in shock after Barnsley’s “fairytale” campaign

Sam Winnall celebrates his first goal.
Barnsley v Walsall. SkyBet League 1 Play-off semi final 1st leg. Oakwell.  14 May 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Sam Winnall celebrates his first goal. Barnsley v Walsall. SkyBet League 1 Play-off semi final 1st leg. Oakwell. 14 May 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

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Star striker Sam Winnall is still in shell-shock at Barnsley’s “fairytale” season.

Winnall bagged 24 goals during an impressive season which saw the Reds win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and secure promotion to the Championship, beating Millwall in the League One play-off final.

And Winnall believes confidence played a huge factor in the club turning around their fortunes after a miserable few months at the start of the season.

“Winning at Wembley has just been the fairy-tale end to our season really,” said Winnall.

“We’ve had ups and downs, so to end it like we did, at the home of football... well, words can’t describe it.

“We were the better team on the day and if you look across over the course of the season, since December, we’ve been the better team in the majority of games.

“Confidence grew with each game and it ending the way it has with us playing, so words can’t describe how well it feels.

“It’s crazy isn’t it - we were bottom on November 28. You just can’t believe it. It’s been a fairytale.”

Rooted to the foot of League One, few people could have every forseen such an incredible turnaround. But turn things around they did – and the Reds deservedly made sure it was a season of double honours.

“I’ve been there during the bad times and we’ve had to really rally together,” reflected Winnall.

“I think that’s what’s made winning at Wembley so sweet, knowing that seven or eight months ago we were worrying about relegation and we’ve been promoted.

“It’s ridiculous but we’re certainly going to enjoy this and we’re going to enjoy our summer and come back raring to go next year.”

Looking ahead to next season, Winnall added: “I’d back myself to score goals at any level. I know that if chances are created then I’ll score goals.

“The players that I’m playing with at the moment are creating my chances for me and my job is to put it in the back of the net.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It’s a really tough league next season the Championship but that’s where we want to be as players.

“We want to be at the highest level possible and the next step for us is the Championship.”

Meanwhile, a group of Barnsley fans have raised £15,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Eight lifelong Reds supporters took part in a cycle ride from the town to Amsterdam last weekend.

Simon Dennis, Alan Dalby, Luke Darnbrough, John Holmes, Ben Holmes, Rob Davies, Ady Baker and Simon Jennison all cycled from Oakwell to support the charity.