Exclusive: Paul Heckingbottom agrees to become new manager of Barnsley

Paul Heckingbottom has agreed to become the permanent Barnsley boss
Paul Heckingbottom has agreed to become the permanent Barnsley boss
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Paul Heckingbottom has accepted an offer to become Barnsley’s new manager.

And speaking exclusively to The Star, Heckingbottom revealed it “won’t be long” before he puts pen to paper on a permanent deal with the Championship club.

“I have been offered the job,” Heckingbottom told The Star.

“To be honest I was offered the job a while ago but it wasn’t the right time to sign a contract.

“But now the season has finished I’ve chatted to club owner Patrick Cryne and chief executive Ben Mansford, and we’ve spoken about taking the job on a permanent basis.

“It won’t be long before we sort the contract.”

Heckingbottom took caretaker charge of the Reds - who have had an offer, believed to be £500,000, accepted for Colchester’s George Moncur - following former manager Lee Johnson’s departure to join Bristol City back in February.

A day later the former Reds defender and development coach guided the club to a fine 3-0 home win against Bury.

And the season just got better and better for Heckingbottom, a boyhood Reds fans, as his team went on to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley, beating Oxford United, and then overcame Millwall in the Play-Off final - again at Wembley - to secure a dream promotion back to the Championship.

But a selfless Heckingbottom refused to even to talk about a new contract until the season was finished.

“Nothing much changed for me, I was just doing my job as normal,” he admitted.

“You’re just in your own bubble and you just want things to keep on going in the right direction.

“There were players’ futures up in the air and I asked them to be selfless in or quest to be successful, so I really felt I should do the same.

“I was demanding a lot from the players so I didn’t feel it was right me sorting my future out, so I just focused on doing my job.

“But now the three of us, me, Ben and Patrick, have chatted and we’ve agreed a new contract.”

Heckingbottom added: “For me not a lot has changed since the end of the season.

“I’ve just been carrying on doing my job and chatting to the board about player recruitment.

“I’m just excited for the new season now. I want us to enjoy every minute of it like we did last season.

“It’s an entirely new challenge for us and one which everyone has got to try and enjoy and embrace it.”

Meanwhile, the Reds have had a bid for Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw rejected.