Young Barnsley midfielder Jacob Brown says he never expected to play this season, let alone win an award, after being named the EFL’s Young Player of the Month for January.
The 20-year-old academy product scored once against Bradford City and assisted five throughout the month, and Brown says it was an amazing feeling to score his first home goal in a Yorkshire derby.
He said: “I never really imagined myself really being in the first team this season, I worked really hard in pre-season and the gaffer has given me the chance, which I like to think I have taken.
“I am buzzing with the award, I had a good month but I never expected to get an award like, it’s across the EFL as well which is an even bigger surprise and I am just delighted.
“I got my first goal at home against Bradford and that was an amazing feeling to score a goal in a Yorkshire derby, a lot of my friends are Bradford fans as well because I live near that area, so I got a lot of stick from them as well.”
Players such as Everton defender Mason Holgate and England international John Stones have come through the Tykes’ academy in recent years, and Brown says it gives younger players a boost to know the club have produced high-quality players.
He added: “I had been working hard in training prior to the Bradford game, the manager showed a bit of faith in me and I did well in that game, and I took my chance in the next few games after that.
“You look at some of the players who have been at this club, who have gone onto higher levels or who are still at the club, it gives you a massive confidence boost to know you are at a club that has produced those kind of players.
“I just wasn’t expecting anything like this, I think I scored one goal and five assists during January, and I think if someone would have offered me that all season I would have been buzzing but to get it in one month is amazing.”