Clapham making a significant impact at Oakwell

Barnley's Jamie Clapham
Barnley's Jamie Clapham

Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has revealed Jamie Clapham almost missed out of the first-team coach role at the club.

It was a quick turnaround to get the 41-year-old through the door at Oakwell. He left his role at Coventry City on September 29, and the next day he was confirmed as part of the Reds’ coaching staff on a short-term basis.

Clapham has since extended his deal at the club, but he nearly did not get the job in the first place.

Heckingbottom said: “I tried to get two more people in that day and I saw Claps had left Coventry that night. I rung him up and if I had known before it would have been easy but I’d already got the ball rolling with two other people. He offered to help out at Leeds, which was great, and it’s gone from there really.”

However, timing is everything and Heckingbottom is delighted with the impact the first-team coach has had since his arrival.

Clapham joined the Reds’ coaching team in the aftermath of the Tommy Wright debacle; Wright accused of taking a bung in an undercover sting by the Daily Telegraph.

Heckingbottom and Clapham did their coaching courses together, and the latter has slotted in well.

Heckingbottom added: “The staff, they get on great with him and over time the players understand him more. I have known Claps a while so it worked for me and he has been working in first-team football a while. He is able to get the information across in his own way and that’s important, because I wouldn’t want him to do the same job as Tommy because they’re different characters.

“It has probably been me who has had to adjust, because you want to play to everyone’s strengths. For example Claps can free me up with the coaching a bit and do the finer detail of the video feedback and the players have responded well to that.”