Kpekawa loving life with Barnsley; Wales call-up for Bradshaw

Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw
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Promising defender Cole Kpekawa is loving life since joining Barnsley.

The left-back completed a deadline-day move back up north from Queens Park Rangers, for a fee understood to be in the region of £450,000.

Barnsley's Cole Kpekawa against Reading. Photo: Marie Caley

Barnsley's Cole Kpekawa against Reading. Photo: Marie Caley

After struggling to force his way into Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s plans, the youngster decided a fresh start was needed.

The 20-year-old started life at Oakwell on the bench, but took full advantage of his opportunity once it came, at the expense of Aidy White, who sustained a gluteal injury against Reading.

Kpekawa has grown with each performance and is settling nicely into Paul Heckingbottom’s plans and he has been delighted that his family have been along to support him and his new team.

“That’s what I came here for, to play,” admitted Kpekawa, who is thoroughly enjoying his run in the starting line-up.

“I’ve only been here for a few weeks now but I’m really enjoying it.

“All the lads have been good to me, I’m enjoying training so I can’t complain at all.

“I moved to Leeds, that’s where I’m living now, and it was actually a quick process to be honest.

“Luckily I found a house really quickly, I moved in straight away and it’s been really good.

“My dad comes along to every game and my mum and my sister pop over too so it’s been great.”

The former London lad believes the youthful nature of the squad is one of the reasons he has taken to life at Barnsley so quickly.

He added: “It’s good to be around players of a similar age.

“It’s easier to get along with them more quickly.

“It’s been so easy to fit into the team and the guys have accepted all the new players and there have been no issues.

“Everyone’s been good to me since I’ve come in and treated me nicely so I’ve got no complaints.”

* Striker Tom Bradshaw has been called up by Wales boss Chris Coleman for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Georgia.

The 24-year-old, who scored a phenomenal 20 goals last term for Walsall, has netted twice since joining the ranks at Oakwell.

The Shrewsbury-born forward made his Welsh debut earlier this year, when he came off the bench in Ukraine.

He was provisionally picked for the Euro 2016 squad, which went on to reach the semi-finals, before pulling out due to a calf injury.