Opportunity knocks for Barnsley starlet arriving from FC United of Manchester

David Ball takes on  Michael Turner. Picture Tony Johnson
David Ball takes on Michael Turner. Picture Tony Johnson

Elliot Simoes was on his way to training with non league FC United of Manchester when he got a phone call that could be about to change his life forever.

The 19-year-old, who has impressed for National League North side this season, thought a normal day was on the horizon until he was told that Barnsley were keen on signing him.

Not long after Simoes had penned a three-and-a-half-year deal at Oakwell and is now a professional Football League footballer.

He described the move, which continues the Reds' successful policy of signing young players with potential, as the best thing that has happened to him.

The winger said: “I wasn't expecting it to happen. I was surprised, I was heading to FC United training as normal, then I got a call telling me that Barnsley wanted to sign me.

“It's probably the best thing that's happened in my life. I knew I wanted to come straight away, I knew I wanted to join.

Daniel Stendel.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Daniel Stendel. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“The only worry you ever have is meeting new people and leaving home, but everyone has been great with me so far. I can't wait to get playing now."

Simoes has featured 23 times for the Manchester club and has been watched by a number of club.

Despite his tender age and lack of Football League experience, chief executive Gauthier Ganaye says he will challenge for a place in Daniel Stendel's League One promotion-chasing side.

“We know we have secured a really exciting young player, on a long contract,” he said.

“This is really important for the future of the club and it also shows that we are attractive to young players, they want to come and develop here.

“Elliot is a player who will offer competition for first team places straight away.

“As already stated, he's quick and exciting to watch on the ball. It is now up to Elliot to impress the coaches in training."

The Reds have also brought 20-year-old Mateo Aramburu to South Yorkshire on a deal until the end of the season.

The Uruguayan, who was a youth international for his country, most recently played for French third-tier outfit Touquet ACFCO and will initially join up with the club's under-23 set-up.