Date: 16th July 2010 at 12:02am
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Michael Boulding has agreed to join Barnsley and play for free.

In what looked like an April Fool’s Day prank, the club’s official website broke the news that Boulding, 34, will link up with the Reds for a second time, offering his services for free in order to earn a longer deal.

Yesterday the striker scored the opening goal in Mansfield Town’s 3-0 win over the Reds in a ‘behind closed doors’ friendly at Oakwell. According to Mark Robins he subsequently called the Reds boss and offered to play for no wages to try and force his way into Robins’ plans and earn a contract.

Robins told the official website: ‘He played against us yesterday in a training match and did very well. Afterwards he phoned me and offered to come back to Oakwell and play for free. In this day and age and, after some of the things I have heard this summer, it is a very refreshing change…’

I have no qualms with this at all. It’s a very humble offer from Boulding, who looked nailed on to have earned himself another contract at Field Mill. I just don’t believe it will lead anywhere for him.

We look to have tied up three of our strikers for next season in Hume, Gray and Dickinson and, are still in the hunt for our ‘number 9.’ At 34 years-of-age, despite his exemplary goalscoring record, Boulding is not our new ‘number 9.’ He knows where the net is, but has he still got the legs to get there?