Barnsley's 2016/17 season
League Position: 14th (2015/16: 6th League One - Play-Off Winners)
Average league attendance: 13,857 (2015/16: 9,499)
Top league goalscorer: Sam Winnall (11)
For a first season back in the second tier it was an unqualified success for The Tykes as they spent most of their time looking up towards the Play-Offs rather than over their shoulder despite the loss of four key players over the course of the season. Paul Heckingbottom stuck with the majority of his Play-Off winning squad with Tom Bradshaw, Angus McDonald, Sessi D'Almeida, and Nick Townsend the only major summer additions. Heading out of Oakwell early on in the season was former Brentford defender Alfie Mawson who joined Swansea City for around £5 million.
The Tykes started with five wins from seven before a run of just one victory in 11, which came at Griffin Park in early October, saw them slip to 18th in the table with 22 points from 18 games. However, any relegation worries were swiftly erased with eight wins from their next 14 games. That run was made to look even more impressive as it was done for a large part without Sam Winnall, James Bree, and Conor Hourihane who all departed in January to Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.
Eventually, the loss of top scorer Winnall and creator-in-chief Hourihane started to bite as the campaign entered the final third. Their final 14 games saw just one win, a 2-0 success at Blackburn Rovers, and just 13 goals scored as they ended the season in 14th place, seven points clear of the drop zone.
Grove Street, Barnsley
South Yorkshire S71 1ET
Click here for directions to Oakwell
39-year-old Heckingbottom is forging a reputation as one of the brightest young managerial prospects after an impressive 18 months at Oakwell. Having twice earned promotion as a player from League One with Sheffield Wednesday and then Barnely he led The Tykes out of the second tier 12 months ago, just three months after taking over. In April 2016 he also became the first Barnsley manager in 104 years to lift a major trophy as they won the EFL Trophy at Wembley.
Head to Head
Brentford wins: 23
Barnsley wins: 12