Barnsley have an exciting recent history in cup competitions. In the past eleven years they have knocked out Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur, and Bolton Wanderers, all of whom are and were Premier League teams at the time.
Few will forget the heroics of the 97/98 squad, who knocked out Manchester United in a 5th Round replay at Oakwell after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, but the majority of those players have since retired from professional football.
Darren Barnard is still in action at Camberley Town and Adie Moses plays his football at Gainsborough Trinity. Andy Liddell is also still in the game at Rotherham United and Georgi Hristov is in his twilight years as a footballer, playing for Finnish side JJK.
However, the current generation of players have the chance to test their mettle against a third "Big Four" team, in the shape of Manchester United after overcoming the challenges of Liverpool and Chelsea. Those who haven`t moved on have the opportunity to write their names into Barnsley folklore for a third time.
Luke Steele was a hero in both games for Barnsley, stopping a barrage of attacks from Liverpool and Chelsea to keep the Reds on course for victories with some world class saves.
Bobby Hassell is a player who has come on leaps and bounds in his time at Oakwell. Signed by Paul Hart from Mansfield Town, Bobby has played in just about every position except goalkeeper for the Reds and last year his performances earned the coveted Player of the Year award. He is along Barnsley`s longest serving current player. Although Bobby had trouble in the first half against Liverpool, his second half performance was demonic and he helped keep a clean sheet against the most expensive team in the country in Chelsea.
Rob Kozluk was in the sides that beat Liverpool and Chelsea and is in contention for a place against Manchester United with Barnsley`s defensive loan signings cup tied. Kozluk played particularly well against Chelsea at Oakwell and went on to sign a contract extension at the end of the following season.
Stephen Foster made a big impact when outleaped English international Jamie Carragher to crash home a header in the tie with Liverpool to bring the scores level early in the second half. He later took over the mantle of club captain from Brian Howard.
Martin Devaney hasn`t featured much under Mark Robins but played a huge part in both cup shocks, providing the crosses for Foster`s equaliser against Liverpool and Odejayi`s winner against Chelsea.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce had quieter games against Liverpool and Chelsea. At the time he was arguably Barnsley`s most dangerous player and had been making a name for himself with some excellent goals and assists. His marker`s kept a close eye on him in those games to thwart his attacks.
Anderson De Silva was a thorn in Liverpool`s side at Anfield, showing his class in the middle of the park and not even Alonso or Gerrard could stop the Reds` midfield force from sealing a famous victory.
If there is anything Kayode Odejayi should be remembered for in years to come, it must be his winner against Chelsea. The massive target man had endured a torrid first season at Oakwell, netting just once in 29 games. He was even booed off the field after a particularly inept performance at home to Southampton but he transformed overnight from zero to hero with a stunning header to send Barnsley to Wembley in the F.A. Cup Semi Final. He is currently on loan at League 1 Colchester United and therefore won`t be on hand to repeat his giant killing exploits this time around.
Michael Coulson deserves a mention for his cameo appearance in the Chelsea game, coming on as a late sustitute to hound the Chelsea players who were desperately pushing a tired Barnsley for an equaliser. He is also on loan and therefore won`t feature against Manchester United.
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