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Barnsley confirm the appointment of new manager

Barnsley has on Friday evening chosen to confirm the appointment of a new manager after losing Gerhard Struber earlier this season.

The Austrian head coach agreed a three-year deal with MLS franchise New York Red Bulls, who have met a buy-out clause inserted into his Reds’ contract.

It was only a few weeks ago that it was announced he had turned down several offers, having guided the Championship club on their great escape to beat the drop on the final day of the 2019/20 season – although they would have been relegated if not for Wigan’s 12-point deduction for entering administration.


Barnsley Football Club are excited to announce the appointment of Valérien Ismaël as Head Coach on a three year contract.

Having enjoyed a successful playing career, including a two-year spell with FC Bayern Munich, the 45-year-old arrives at Oakwell with a wealth of European football experience.

No stranger to working with and developing young talent, the Frenchman hardened his pressing and attacking style of play in Germany with periods inside the youth systems of Hannover 96 and VfL Wolfsburg, with the latter proceeding to offer Ismaël his first opportunity in top-flight senior management.

Following his stint in the German Bundesliga, the former centre-back joined up with Dominik Frieser’s LASK Linz side in 19/20 where, together, the pair topped a UEFA Europa League group containing the likes of Sporting Lisbon and PSV Eindhoven, before overcoming AZ Alkmaar across two legs to reach the Round of 16.

Ismaël commences duties as Reds’ Head Coach with a watching brief at Millwall on Saturday, before meeting his new squad for the first time the following day.

Commenting on the appointment, Dane Murphy said: “In Valérien we have a young, ambitious coach who already possesses a wealth of footballing experience across the continent. Throughout the recruitment process, he was the standout candidate and his style of play will complement our philosophy.

“Valérien is aware of the quality within our squad and with his guidance, the board believe that he is well suited to continuing our players’ development whilst simultaneously solidifying our position in the Sky Bet Championship.

Speaking on his position, the new Head Coach added: I would like to thank Paul Conway and Dane Murphy for the open and productive dialogue that we’ve had up to this point, and for the great chance that they have given me to manage in English football as the coach of Barnsley FC.”

“I feel a great deal of excitement about the new position and the new challenges that it brings, and I can’t wait to get to know the team, my coaching staff, everyone who works at the club, and of course the Reds fans at Oakwell too, so that together we can get started and hit the ground running!”

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