Date: 14th December 2015 at 5:38pm
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Long serving defender Bobby Hassell has returned to Oakwell in the position of Head of Academy Recruitment.

The recently retired 35 year old spent ten years as a player at the club, taking in 270 league games from 2003 before being released in May 2014 and he hung up his boots having had a short spell with Bharat in India’s I League.

With Barnsley needing to place a greater emphasis on developing players for the future now with the emergency loan window being phased out, the club have brought Hassell back to his spiritual home for his knowledge and experience of the game, as they know he can be asset in identifying talented youngsters for the future.

Speaking to the Official Site as news of the appointment was released today, chief executive Ben Mansford explained.

‘All at the Club are delighted to have Bobby on board as Head of Academy Recruitment. We have been discussing Bobby joining us over the last few weeks and it is clear that Bobby will be a huge success in this role. Bobby not only knows what it takes to succeed as a professional player but will also be able to advise the players on the challenges they will face on and off the field as they seek to embark and maintain a career in professional football. Everyone at the Club is delighted that Bobby is back on the staff and I’m looking forward to working with him.’

Hassell himself said of the move into the backroom following his lengthy life on the pitch.

‘After finishing my 19-year playing career in the summer, it feels fantastic to return to Oakwell; a place which I hold dear in my heart. I’d like to place on record my thanks to Patrick Cryne with whom I’ve always had a very good relationship and also to our CEO, Ben Mansford, for inviting me back in this role. I’m excited to be aiding the Club in bringing through the doors the next generation of players, who have the potential to go on and represent the Club professionally. I’m looking forward to working closely with Ronnie Branson and Mark Burton and my ex team-mates, Martin Devaney and Paul Heckingbottom, within the Academy set-up. My focus will involve players from the age of 21 all the way down to the age of eight. I shall also be coaching intermittently but my main focus will be on recruitment. I think it’s critical that Barnsley Football Club becomes the first option of local talent. This is where I’m hoping that my own personal experience of playing here and also my links with the local community will help this to be realised.’

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