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Local coaching staff crucial for Danny

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 28th March 2014
Chris Hutchings

Danny Wilson says his priority in creating a new coaching staff was to recruit people with a connection to the club or who live locally.


Chris Hutchings and Mark Crossley were brought in as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach this week to replace Micky Mellon and Ian Willcock who were sacked last week.


Mellon and the other staff that worked with previous manager David Flitcroft then stayed on for three months with Wilson used to commute from the Manchester area each day. But Hutchings lives in Holmfirth, Crossley in Elsecar and ex-Red Paul Heckingbottom, who will remain a first team coach, also lives in his hometown.


Wilson said: "That's very important to me. It means we're all available. If players ever need anything, we are on tap. But the most important thing is that we understand the fabric of the community."


Hutchings, 56, was the surprise appointment as Wilson's number two on Sunday. The manager's former assistant at Sheffield United, Frank Barlow, was expected to fill the role but wanted to stay as a scout at Hull City and Barnsley instead chose Hutchings, who played with Wilson at Brighton.


Hutchings was the Bradford assistant to Chris Kamara for the match which saw Barnsley promoted to the Premier League in 1997. He then stayed with the Bantams to work with Paul Jewell who he has since assisted at Wigan, Derby and Ipswich.


He has managed in the Premier League with Bradford and Wigan, both times succeeding Jewell, but was sacked before the halfway point of the first campaign each time. The former Chelsea, Huddersfield and Rotherham player also had a two-year spell as Walsall manager.


Wilson said: "I know Chris very, very well. I know his background and experience. I feel he can offer us a great deal. "I'm sure we will work well together. He's a very upbeat and positive guy."


Former Wales goalkeeper Crossley, who is from Hoyland, joins the Reds as goalkeeping coach from local rivals Sheffield Wednesday, where he worked with the academy. Crossley, now 44, left Oakwell as a 15-year-old and made more than 300 appearances for Nottingham Forest as well as playing for Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Fulham.


Wilson said: "Mark has had a fantastic career and he's a local lad.  Unfortunately he slipped out of Barnsley's net somewhere. He's known within football as a good coach.


"Sheffield Wednesday have been fantastic. They have not stood in Mark's way. "He knows Barnsley and he loves the club. He has grown up around it all his life and has a lot of family and friends who support the club."