Barnsley: New boy targets Reds success

Conor Hourihane in action for Plymouth
Conor Hourihane in action for Plymouth
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New signing Conor Hourihane is confident he can rise to the challenge of League One.

And the former Plymouth Argyle skipper is targeting promotion in his first season at Oakwell.

“I wanted to come to a club who have an ambition to go places, and Barnsley definitely fit that bill,” said Hourihane. “I want to be here and achieve things and promotion is definitely the main aim.

“It’s a big step forward for me. They’re ambition is to get promoted back to the Championship – and that’s something I want to be a part of. It’s something I’ll be striving to help the team do. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

And Barnsley’s third summer signing has revealed joining the Reds from Plymouth was just too good an opportunity to turn down.

The Reds tabled two bids for the midfielder which were rejected, but a third offer finally saw manager Danny Wilson recruit another new face.

“I’m a very ambitious young footballer – and this is a step up for me,” Hourihane. “I really loved my time at Plymouth, but when an opportunity presents itself to join a club like Barnsley, well I couldn’t turn it down.

“The club were really keen on signing me, which was a big confidence-booster for myself.

“Everything really clicked for me last season and I scored some good goals, which is what I want to do here. I want to build on that form and push on this season.”

Meanwhile, the Reds’ squad returned to pre-season training yesterday after almost a two-month break.

Leading scorer Chris O’Grady, who was the subject of a bid from Championship side Charlton Athletic during the summer, joined the rest of his teammates at Oakwell as the players were put through their paces in preparation for the start of the new season, which begins on August 9.

New signings Hourihane, goalkeeper Adam Davies and striker Kane Hemmings met their new teammates for the first time, before the players were given fitness tests and then assessed during gym-based training and outdoors on the club’s training pitch.