Barnsley: Paul’s delight as Spanish Reds Dig in

Paul Digby
Paul Digby

Barnsley’s players are being put through their paces in Spain this week with the new Championship season a month away.

Thankfully there’s still been plenty of time for rest and recovery with intensive double sessions the order of the day in the heat at the club’s five-star training base in La Cala.

The squad arrived on Spanish soil on Sunday and are being worked hard every day until they return home this Sunday.

Last year the Reds had a similar training camp in the Spanish resort of Benhavis, although this year there will be no warm-up friendly against another club.

For youngster Paul Digby, who missed most of last season with a troublesome hip and groin injury, it’s just been good to be back training - even though the sessions have been very demanding.

“I’ve been out for a long time,” reflected Digby. “It was a long and frustrating time, but I’ve come back into the squad and fitted in well.It doesn’t feel as though I’ve even been off, which is strange.

“The lads have been brilliant with me and been looking after me while I’ve been injured, especially the senior pros.

“They’ve all made sure I’ve done my recovery properly and my rehab well to make sure I prevent the injury coming back.

“I just want to crack on now and fight for a first team start. I’m really looking forward to the new season.

“If we can take the form we showed at the end of last season into the new season, then we can definitely do well.”

Digby, aged 18, is highly regarded at Oakwell and boss David Flitcroft has told The Star: “It’s like having a new player!”

Flitcroft said: “It’s great to have Diggers back. He was unlucky last year with injury, but he’s a great talent and we’re going to do all we can to look after him this season.

“We’ve got some good development players and they’ll play a part this season.

“I’m really relaxed with where we are at the moment. We’ve made some good signings, but I’m happy to sit tight and wait for any more new players. We’re not going to rush.

“If a centre-half or a striker comes up, then that’s an area we’ll look at.”

Flitcroft has so far swooped to sign winger Ryan Jennings and striker Chris O’Grady, while Bobby Hassell, Martin Cranie, Luke Steele, Jason Scotland, Tom Kennedy and Tomasz Cywka have all signed new deals to stay at the club.

Midfielder Kelvin Etuhu is also expected to sign a new two-year deal.