BARNSLEY: John Stones sets sights on breaking into Reds team

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PROMISING youngster John Stones would love to break into the Barnsley first team next season.

Stones scooped the club’s Academy Player of the Year award after an impressive campaign which led to him making his club debut against Reading.

And the 18-year-old centre-half is held in high regard at Oakwell by boss Keith Hill who, having been keen to nurture young talent from within the club, has hinted that more young players could feature next term, albeit sporadically. I’d love to be playing week in, week out for my hometown team,” revealed Stones.

“I’d love to stamp mark on the team, but myself and Danny Rose [another gifted youngster] know it’s going to be hard.

“It’s going to take hard work on the training pitch and in pre-season. But just making my debut has been undescribable.

“A lot of dreams have come true. I’ve taken my opportunity and it’s been a great year.”

Stones captained the club’s Under-18 side this season and also got a second chance in the first team as a second half substitute in the Reds last home game of the season against Brighton. And the teenager could have won it for the hosts with a glancing header which flew inches wide in injury-time against the Seagulls.

“The gaffer and Flicker [assistant boss] David Flitcroft said I played well and to forget about it [missing my header] because it happens,” admitted Stones.