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Boss says being ‘out of spotlight’ in Italian Alps will help his squad

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 11th July 2014
Danny Wilson.

Reds manager Danny Wilson says his squad will benefit from being 'out of the spotlight' at their Italian training camp from Tuesday.

 

After their first pre-season match at Conference side Halifax Town tomorrow, Barnsley will spend a week in the Italian Alps.

They are hoping to play two friendlies during that time, one of which could be with Serie A side Torino on Sunday July 20 although that has not been finalised nor has the deal to face Osasuna at Oakwell on July 29.

 

"The Italy trip will be very good," Wilson told the Chronicle.

 

"It will be a lovely setting in the Alps but we are there to work. There won't be any pressure on us because will be out of the spotlight. "The lads can be together and get to know each other a lot better. It will be an ideal environment for us."

 

The Reds currently have a squad of 21 on professional contracts while under 18s such as Jack Cowgill and James Bree have been training with the first team and could go to Italy. Most of the squad will be in action in the first pre-season friendly at Conference club Halifax Town tomorrow. New signing Kane Hemmings is a doubt with an ankle injury but everyone else is understood to be fit.

 

Wilson said: "The Halifax game will be very, very mixed. Everybody will be involved in it but it will just be about match time and fitness."

 

Barnsley have never faced Halifax Town FC but played 45 games against their previous incarnation AFC Halifax Town which folded in 2008. The new club started again in the EvoStick Division One and have gained three promotions then missed out on another in May when they lost in the Conference Play-offs.

 

The Reds last visited the Shay for a competitive game in 1979 and gained a 2-0 Division Four win. They also won 2-0 at home to Halifax in the Worthington Cup in 2001 as Bruce Dyer and Eric Tinkler netted against a visiting side that included ex-Reds Lee Butler and Neil Redfearn. After they return from Italy, Barnsley will host FA Cup finalists Hull City on July 26, then play another game three days later – possibly against Osasuna – before hosting local rivals Sheffield Wednesday on August 2.