After only rejoining the reserve league last season, Barnsley have taken the decision to withdraw from the Totesport.com Central Division League for the 2011/12 season. It’s a déjà vu moment as Simon Davey did the same a couple of years ago. When Mark Robins took over he believed it was a mistake – he had to wait until the following season to rejoin. Keith Hill believes the squad isn’t big enough field a reserve team every week and wasn’t keen on calling upon academy players to make up the numbers. Instead, regularly friendly games will be arrange when required in order to give players who aren’t getting regular first-team games a run-out. Simon Davey intended to do the same a few years ago, however it isn’t clear how many of these games were actually arranged.
With only first-team games being played on the Oakwell pitch, it will certainly make the ground-staff’s job of maintaining the playing surface that little bit easier. As you would expect at the start of the season, the pitch is in perfect condition but has been known to become less than ideal as the seasons progresses. Hill’s football is very-much played ‘on the deck’ so the condition of the pitch takes on even greater importance.