Date: 13th August 2015 at 1:00pm
Written by:

Former Barnsley skipper Brian Howard has announced his retirement from the game.

Howard made 131 appearances for the reds and was part of the team which won promotion to the Championship in 2006.

His most famous moment in a Barnsley shirt was scoring the last minute winner against Liverpool in that famous FA cup run to the semi-finals. We also saw off Chelsea before falling to Cardiff in the semi-final at Wembley.

Howard will now pursue a career in sports management where he hopes to help players with their careers.

Howard is still only 32 and I do feel it is a bit of a waste for him to be retiring at such a young age.

I attended the Bobby Hassell testimonial over the summer and despite carrying a few extra pounds, Howard still oozed class on the ball and could have a few more years at a decent level if he got himself fit.

Back to the Hassell testimonial though, and the way the old boys played when they came on showed how poor this current squad is in comparison.

Despite the extra weight that most were carrying, they were still able to play at a higher tempo than we have played at for a long time and were so much better in terms of keeping the ball and creating in the final third. Their decision making was exceptional which is something that can let young teams down at times.

I know that they only had to play 20 minutes but when you compare the abilities of that promotion squad with the current one, it`s fair to say there is no comparison.

League one however is a poor league so we probably don`t have to be as good as that promotion team to challenge at the top end of the league.

Manager Lee Johnson even said afterwards that the current crop could learn a lot from the old boys and I hope to see that throughout the season.

The current squad are obviously more mobile and young and eager so if Johnson can add a little bit of what we saw from the old boys then maybe we do have a chance of competing at the top end of the table this season.

For anyone that missed the game then the old boy`s line-up was as follows:

GK Preece
RB Austin
CB Foster
CB Reid
LB Heckingbottom
CM Kay
CM Howard
CM Hassell
RW Devaney
LW Shuker
ST Nardiello

Reds fans, for anyone old enough to remember those players in their pomp, how many of our current team would get in to the side before any of the above?

We didn`t see enough of Preece to know if he was any good so I`m asking the question just as outfield players.

Most of our current squad are young and will improve and probably be better than a lot of the above but at the moment I would say that none of them are good enough to get in.

It is only my opinion and I am keen to hear yours. Who would make your team if you had to select from a combination of the two?