Barnsley: Jacob Brown feels the love at Oakwell
From the Oakwell ballboy to the ‘star man on the right’, Barnsley’s Jacob Brown is another success story to emerge from the Tykes’ academy setup.
Brown was an integral part of Daniel Stendel’s promotion-winning side as he hit eight goals in 38 appearances, helping the club secure an immediate return to the Championship.
His form and promise was rewarded last week with a contract extension to 2022.
He told The Star: “It’s been a massive difference from last season to this season and being involved and helping them get back up into the Championship has been massive.
“I think we have a good chance of doing well this season.
“It’s gone so well and the club’s seen that and recognised I’ve done well. It’s a massive thing for me and it’s given me more confidence going into next season.
“With how the season went, it was a lot more than what I’d been expecting at the start of the season.”
Come August, it will be four years since Brown watched from the Oakwell perimeter as Lee Johnson’s side tussled with Premier League Everton in the League Cup.
But the 21-year-old’s recent contribution has come on the pitch rather than from the side of it, netting important goals against Walsall, Fleetwood and Shrewsbury to clinch second place in League One.
He added: “It was pouring it down in that game against Everton and I was sat on a mat on the floor but I was watching the game thinking ,‘This is what I want to be doing one day’.
“I’ve carried on working hard and then to go and score the winner on Sky against Walsall in an important game when we are trying to get promoted, it still doesn’t seem real.
“It is class and I just want to keep working hard this pre-season and, hopefully, more things like that will happen next season.”
Halifax-born Brown is sure his reward of a contract extension will also inspire the current Academy crop who watch from the cinder track at Oakwell.
“When I was in the under-18s I always looked up at people like Mason Holgate and James Bree, it got you thinking that if you work hard and perform well then you’ll get your chance.
“For that to happen to me has been massive and, hopefully, there’ll be a lot more of the younger players in the academy that can do that as well.”