Barnsley: Cup winners’ visit great start for Reds

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It’s a cracking opener for Barnsley - after all, when did they ever start a season with a visit from the FA Cup winners?

Wigan Athletic, relegated from the Premier League just days after their glorious Wembley triumph in May, are the Oakwell visitors to kick off the new Championship campaign.

It will also be the first game in charge for Owen Coyle who has just been appointed Wigan manager in succession to Roberto Martinez.

There is an early return for ex-Reds boss Mark Robins.

He brings his Huddersfield Town side to Oakwell on August 31 - with memories still very fresh of that last day survival of both clubs on that memorable May 4 afternoon at the John Smith’s Stadium.

It was an afternoon which ended with celebration from both sets of fans and, in scenes few could ever recall, both sets of fans applauding each other as well as clapping both sets of players as they walked around the pitch - Barnsley first followed by Town’s squad when they returned to the pitch after Barnsley’s ‘lap of honour’ was complete and they’d left.

The home game in between will offer Barnsley an early chance of revenge for their most humiliating home defeat last season - they face Charlton Athletic who won 6-0 in April.

The first away game will have many Barnsley fans planning a weekend away with the missus or the family - they go to Blackpool.

First South Yorkshire derby is a visit from the Owls on October 26 and there’s another one in the next home game a fortnight later with Doncaster Rovers the visitors.

The return fixtures are also within a fortnight of each other - Feb 1 (Hillsborough) and Feb 15 (Keepmoat).

The home game with Leeds United is on Easter Saturday, April 19. The Easter Monday trip is to Derby County.

It’s Christmas at home for Reds fans. On Boxing Day they play Bolton and then Derby visit on Dec 29 - a Sunday.