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Barnsley: Boss Paul Heckingbottom signs new contract with Reds

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom has committed his future to the club after signing an improved contract at Oakwell.

The 40-year-old has signed a new one-year rolling contract with improved terms, as he prepares to start a third year in charge of the Reds.

He said: "It's something that if we're being honest has been agreed a while ago in terms of being agreed.

"It's nice to get it all done so people can stop asking me about it now.

"Gauthier [Ganaye, CEO] and myself both knew it was going to happen so we were relaxed about it."

Heckingbottom had been a reported target for Sunderland and Nottingham Forest during their respective recent searches for a new manager, such is the reputation he has garnered while in charge of Barnsley.

Chief executive Ganaye says the improved deal is in recognition of Heckingbottom's work over the last two years.

He told the club's official website: "Coaching and development is a large part of our model as well as targeting young players so we need to have a head coach who embraces this philosophy and knows how to develop these players, while competing in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

"This new contract shows his commitment to the project that the club is embarking on.

"He believes in the plans we have in place at Barnsley Football Club like we all do.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Paul as we go into a really important last few months of the season.”

Heckingbottom initially stepped up as interim manager following the departure of Lee Johnson to Bristol City in February 2016, continuing the incredible rise from the foot of League One to promotion to the Championship via the play-offs while also winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the process.

He guided Barnsley to a comfortable finish in their first season back in the Championship, all the while continuing the rebuilding of the squad following the loss of several key players.