Barnsley could be set to promote their Academy manager to the top job for the third time in nine years as their search for a new first team manager enters desperation mode.
The Reds have been turned down by both Sean O’Driscoll and Terry Butcher in the past week and the only other names believed to be on their shortlist are ex captain Neil Redfearn who had limited and largely unsuccessful management experience, and Gary Megson and Kevin Blackwell, but a move for either of those two could see a fans backlash due to their past Sheffield connections.
This has led Chief Director Don Rowing to consider promoting Academy boss Ronnie Branson who has been extremely successful with the Youth teams and has seen the likes of Jacob Butterfield, John Stones, Paul Digby, Reuben Noble-Lazarus, Jordan Clark, Danny Rose and Lukas Lidakevicius graduate to the first team under his watch.
It would not be the first time the club have gone down this route after promoting Andy Ritchie to the top job in 2005- after he was first made Assistant to Paul Hart, and then Simon Davey in 2006 after the sacking of Ritchie.
If The Reds do opt to keep it “in-house” they could bring in a fan’s favourite as assistant to groom them into the manager role in the future. Current Reds stalwart Bobby Hassell and former favourites Craig Hignett and Darren Moore would be in contention for this role.
Current caretaker manager David Flitcroft will take charge of the team against Leeds United on Saturday with any announcement on the new manager not expected until the middle of next week at the earliest.