Fanzone's Barnsley blogger Christopher Ellison says Martin Crainie's new deal is a welcome boost for the club.
Martin Crainie had given the majority of Barnsley fans the news they wanted to hear by putting pen to paper on a new two-year deal which will see him stay at Oakwell until 2015.
The versatile defender has been one of the most talked about players of the summer following his superb performances mainly at centre half for the Reds last season.
Understandably, the 26-year-old has been the focus of attention by many clubs thanks to the pivotal role he played during our infamous Championship survival, and with his contract expiring following the final game against Huddersfield, his future has been hanging in the balance ever since.
It has been well publicised that several Championship clubs have been vying for his signature, however along with Tomasz Cywka, Bobby Hassell and Luke Steele, Flicker as always been keen to keep the highly rated Somerset-born man, and after so many weeks of wonder and hope, fans and staff alike can now breath a sigh of relief in the knowledge that he will be a Barnsley player next season.
Crainie, who started his career at Southampton before making 41 appearances for us last season following his move from Coventry City in January, has spoken to the club's official website about his joy at the permanent move. He said:
"I am absolutely delighted to sign a new contract at Barnsley. There was never any doubt that I would be coming back.
"The end to last season will be in everyone's minds for a long time. I don't think you will see anything like that again. I've watched it back a few times and I still can't believe it happened.
"It's going to be a brilliant season again. It gets harder every year, there are strong Premier League teams coming down, but as you saw last year Wolves, Blackburn and Bolton all struggled in parts and of course Wolves went down again. It won't be an easy ride for the clubs that have been relegated this time either.
"I've still got it in my mind playing the top teams in the league last season and winning and it shows we have got nothing to fear this season from any side. Coming in today (pre-season) the lads seem very up for the season already, it's the same sort of vibe that we ended last season.
"I'm looking forward to the first game of the season against Wigan. I like to get started and get that first game under my belt. Hopefully we can get a big crowd in with a Premier League team coming down to the Championship. They've got some brilliant players, but since January we've made Oakwell like a fortress and if we can continue that form from last season we will do very well."
I said in my last blog that things are looking much brighter at Oakwell and Crainie's words have for me, only re-iterated my views. Along with Chris O'Grady the fact that Crainie said there was no doubt he was going to stay proves that something special must be going on in the backroom and this can only be a positive thing as players have been all too eager to depart in the past.
As for Crainie's statement about the feeling around the place still being the same as it was back in May this suggests a strong season could be on the horizon.
I understand that as Barnsley fans we have all been here before, decent signings, managers making promises etc leading to high amounts of anticipation only to be desperately disappointed after 46 games, however, in conversation with a friend of mine it was agreed that somehow this time feels different. This time it feels like more than just a blind optimism and that too many good things seem to be happening all at once which is something as a football club and a community we have not experienced in a long time.
Due to this I stand by my views that Barnsley FC could be a force to be reckoned with next season, I just sincerely hope I don't eat my words come Saturday 3 May 2014.