The huge rebuilding task facing Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has been starkly emphasised with the publication of the retained list, which reveals that 19 of the players who were with the Oakwell Club at the end of the current campaign will not be available next season.
Two have declined to sign a new contract, ten have been released and seven loanees have returned to their parent clubs.
The two who have decided to leave of their own accord are Marley Watkins and Josh Scowen, who, according to the club’s website, are to ‘explore other options.’
Watkins (pictured) made it quite clear on ‘Twitter’, however, that this, for him at least, is a definite parting of the ways, while at the same time thanking everyone at the club for their help and support during his time with the Reds.
In an open letter to ‘the Barnsley faithful’ he wrote: “It’s been an absolute pleasure giving 100% for the club every week. What a journey, from the bottom of league 1 to the champ in just over a year. Grateful to all the players, the staff and to Hecky. Wish them all the best in the future.
“Today I say goodbye to the Reds as a player, but I’ll always be a fan. There are no better fans in the country. One of my favourite memories of you is the plant pot on his head song. Your passion is top drawer and it was a joy to play in front of you.
“Thank you for everything. You Reds!”
The full list of players released is: Aidy White, Callum Evans, Ryan Williams, Lewin Nyatanga, Matty Templeton, James Carvell, Jake Charkes, Jack Cowgill, Omari Patrick and George Proctor.
The departing loan players are: Gethin Jones, Matty James, Callum Elder, Adam Armstrong, Ryan Kent, Saidy Janko and Julio Rodriguez.