Hassell’s fears for his Oakwell future

Bobby Hassell
Bobby Hassell
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BARNSLEY stalwart Bobby Hassell has told The Star that he doesn’t expect to be at the club next season.

Fans’ favourite Hassell, who joined the club in 2004, is the club’s current longest-serving player with over 250 league and cup appearances.

But this season t he 32-year-old has found himself frozen out from first-team action and has started only six games.

The adaptable defender and midfielder has not started a game since Boxing Day and has grown increasingly frustrated with the way things are panning out at Oakwell, especially as he would celebrate his decade anniversary next season.

His contract expires on June 30 and he doesn’t know whether he’s going to be offered a new deal.

“I don’t expect to be here next season,” revealed Hassell, speaking exclusively to The Star.

“My future is uncertain but one thing’s for sure, if I’m called upon I’ll go out there and give it my all.

“I love pulling on the Barnsley shirt and have always given my best for the club. I’ve hardly started any games this season though. Maybe I have played my last game, but I hope not.

“If I’m not playing I’d definitely love to stay involved in a coaching role – and hopefully finish my career here.

“But I just don’t know what’s going to happen. To go out like this would be really sad, but I’m not looking for sympathy. Football doesn’t own me anything and I don’t owe football anything.

“Whatever happens I’ll be fine in life. I’ve got no qualms with anybody or any axe to grind. All I want to do is play for the club and try and keep us in this division. I’d be devastated if we got relegated.”

Hassell’s starts this season have been limited largely by the emergence of talented teenage right-back John Stones, a player who now has a £3million price tag on his head after some impressive performances.

But Hassell can play at centre-back and in midfield, so is adamant he still has something to offer the team.

Hassell, who is approaching 500 professional career appearances, added: “I’ve still got something to offer. I can definitely contribute a lot.

“I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career, but unfortunately this season has been a write off.

The Star understands Hassell has held tentative talks with club director Don Rowing about a new contract and new manager David Flitcroft has been quick to stress that the player remains in his plans.

Flitcroft might not have played Hassell in any of three games he’s been in charge, but he said: “His experience and expertise is invaluable for these final 18 games.”