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Barnsley in need of old heads as they prepare for life in League One

DERBY, ENGLAND - MAY 06:  Adam Hammill of Barnsley reacts as Barnsley are relegated during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Barnsley at iPro Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Derby, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
DERBY, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Adam Hammill of Barnsley reacts as Barnsley are relegated during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Barnsley at iPro Stadium on May 6, 2018 in Derby, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
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Barnsley will need to add some experience to the ranks over the summer to solidify their promotion bid.

The Reds are hoping for an immediate return to the Championship after dropping back to League One.

However, after releasing Adam Hammill and Matt Mills - who had an unfortunate run of injuries during his brief stint at Oakwell - the club are lacking experience in the dressing room.

In Hammill the club has lost a passionate professional who was the father-figure to an inexperienced bunch of talented players.

When you look at the three sides who secured promotion from the division, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham United, they all had key players who were 28 and over in the dressing room.

From the impressive side who turned a possible relegation to League Two into promotion to the second tier in 2015/16 only two players remain - Adam Davies and Lloyd Isgrove.

Isgrove returned to Oakwell permanently last summer, but was restricted to just 17 appearances after being stuck down with various injury issues.

Davies’ own form was scratchy last term and he was kept out of the side for a spell by now released shot-stopper Nick Townsend towards the end of the season.

The oldest player under contract at the club is 26-year-old Christoph Knasmullner, who played just 119 minutes after his January deadline-day move from Admira Wacker.

Midfielder Brad Potts has made over 200 career appearances, but the majority of those were in League Two with Carlisle United and Blackpool.

Wing-back Zeki Fryers has great pedigree, having come through the ranks at Manchester United and playing for the likes of Tottenham and Crystal Palace, though he only has 79 career appearances under his belt.

The club work with a tight budget and their philosophy is to develop players from lower leagues.

And that gives the current young guns in the squad an opportunity to shine under the spotlight with a clear goal in mind to get back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Holding on to the likes of Liam Lindsay, George Moncur and Tom Bradshaw will be important this summer and adding some shrewd signings would be just the ticket.

Loan signings are sure to play a huge part in the side’s complexion as they always do at the club.

There is already a plethora of talent in the squad and the task of the eventual new manager will be to get those players firing on all cylinders.

Stevie Mallan is attracting interest from three League One rivals, promoted duo Luton Town and Coventry City as well as Shrewsbury, but he could quite easily provide the type of presence Conor Hourihane had at the club if he rediscovers the form he showed at St Mirren.

Likewise, Cameron McGeehan will benefit from his time on loan at Scunthorpe United last term and will hopefully hit the ground running and produce the magical moments he showed whilst at Luton.

If Bradshaw decides to stay at the club then Barnsley will have two proven goalscorers leading the charge.

The Welsh international bagged 20 goals apiece during his two seasons with Walsall and was the Reds’ top scorer last season.

Kieffer Moore showed what he is capable of after his January move. His physicality and link-up play will be pivotal next season.

Before joining the Reds, Moore enjoyed a successful loan spell in League One with Rotherham United - scoring 13 goals in 22 league outings.

There is cause for optimism with the squad already in place and some added experience would fancy their chances of going straight back up.