McCarthy: Barnsley a Fabulous Club
Saturday, 19th Jan 2013 06:04
Depending on the outcome of this morning’s stadium and pitch inspection, Blues boss Mick McCarthy will face his hometown side Barnsley today, a “fabulous” club he says he loves, having started his playing career at Oakwell.
McCarthy said: “It gave me my start in what seems to be a one hundred-year career now. I was there for seven and a half years, from the age of 16 to 23.
“I made my debut there, I played 272 league games over a long period of time from getting in the team at 18.
“I love the place, it gave me my chance. It’s a fabulous club, lovely people. They all are from Barnsley, as you know, nice, endearing to everybody!
“They’ve just been having it tough. They had a great result against Leeds. And let me tell you, when I was [growing up] there, Barnsley were in the Fourth Division and Leeds were Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Don Revie, all them and revered by the rest of us Yorkshire folk.
“So, to slap them at home is a great result. If the game is on, they’ll be coming down here feeling confident, they played well last week.”
McCarthy played under one of his Leeds boyhood heroes at Barnsley: “Allan Clarke was manager when I was there as a young player and it was wonderful when he turned up because Leeds were my team, that great team.
“I remember watching him with my dad on the Kop when he was playing for Leicester. He left [for Leeds] for £175,000, that was his fee, I think.
“It was wonderful when he came to Barnsley, it just made us more professional. It was suddenly club suits and ties, kit was getting washed. He upped the standard of it all and we got promoted. He was fabulous for us, Clarkey.”
He says he learnt some important lessons under the former striker: “He gave me that bit of advice – you head it, win it, tackle and give it to someone who can play! Which really, really annoyed me. It upset me for about four years until I was 23 and realised it was the best information I’d been given.
“He topped me in training once,” he added. “I think I maybe kicked him once or twice as well. He was great for the club. He really upped the standard of it and then Norman Hunter came and took it on even more.”
Current manager David Flitcroft succeeded his former boss Keith Hill earlier this week and McCarthy wishes him well, aside from in fixtures against the Blues: “There were all sorts of names mentioned, I saw David say he was ready to do it.
“Listen, on the back of that result, beating Leeds at home [he’s justified in saying that], and they had some great results prior to that.
“We watched the game and they played very well. They were all over them and they should have beaten them by more than they two they did.
“I’m glad for David, he knows the players, he knows what he wants out of them and sometimes bringing somebody else in doesn’t work, so good luck to him, except for tomorrow.”
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