Barnsley: Defender Ethan Pinnock wants to play at highest level possible as he enters prime of his career

Barnsley defender Ethan Pinnock feels it is important for him to be playing at the highest level possible as he enters the prime of his career.

The centre-half had a masterful campaign for the Reds as they won League One promotion at the first attempt.

He was part of a defence that kept a club-record amount of clean sheets and his personal form was recognised by a host of end-of-season awards and places in divisional teams of the year.

Pinnock was an ever-present in League One and he proved he is ready to make the step up to the second tier.

Aged 26 his best years are surely still ahead of him, but he has a different outlook on it, which is a sobering one for the non-footballers amongst us.

“I am kicking on now and will be the wrong side of 25 soon and in football terms, that is getting on a bit,” he said.

“It (promotion) was really important for me – but all the young players also want to play as high as they can and to be able to make that jump to the Championship next season has been really big for all of us.

“We are all really excited to take the challenge on.

“Personally, I have had a really good season here and have really enjoyed my football and being around the lads.

“It is a great club and the fans have been great in getting behind us. I am just looking forward to next season and kicking on and seeing where it takes me.”

Meanwhile Jacob Brown wants to become more agile as he tries to make an impact in the second tier next season.

Brown, who penned a new contact to 2020 last month, is currently receiving rehab from a hamstring injury which kept him out of Barnsley's promotion-winning game at Bristol Rovers.

Brown told The Star: “I didn’t want to get injured but it’s been easier for me so far, as I’ve had to do my rehab in at the club. It’s all going to come naturally and my fitness will come back naturally.

“I do want to work on my agility because some of the defenders I’ll be coming up against will be good.

“I just want to do everything I can really to give myself the best chance of doing well next season.”