One to Watch - Tom Bradshaw
Name: Tom Bradshaw
Date of Birth: 27/07/1992
Previous clubs: Aberystwyth Town, Shrewsbury Town, Walsall.
Appearances (goals): 219 (64)
Following the January departures of 11 goal top scorer Sam Winnall and captain Conor Hourihane, who notched six league goals from midfield, to Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa respectively, there is an added pressure on Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw to find the net for the Tykes in the final few months of the season.
With seven league goals so far this term, Bradshaw now leads the way in the club`s goalscoring charts alongside midfielder Marley Watkins, a decent return for the 24-year old signed from League One side Walsall in the summer, after Paul Heckingbottom`s men secured promotion to the second tier via the play-offs.
Having seen their own chances of promotion ended by the Tykes at the semi-final stage last year, the Saddlers accepted a bid from the South Yorkshire side for their star man for an undisclosed fee, reported to have been in the region of £600,000, days after Bradshaw had made his intentions clear by handing in a transfer request.
He moved to Oakwell on a three-year deal having netted 40 goals in 87 appearances in all competitions for Walsall over the course of two seasons with the club, form that had seen him in with a chance of playing in the European Championships, after being named in Wales` provisional 29-man squad ahead of the tournament.
Unfortunately for the striker, he was ruled out as one of Chris Coleman`s options in attack after he suffered a calf injury in training prior to the naming of the final squad, preventing him the opportunity to add to his solitary cap for his country having made his debut in a 1-0 friendly defeat away in Ukraine in March last year.
Having begun his career with Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town, Bradshaw made his move to the Football League by joining Shrewsbury Town ahead of the 2009/2010 campaign, where he would have to wait until the final few weeks of the season before making his first team bow, which eventually came in April 2010.
After coming on for the last 15 minutes of a League Two encounter at Crewe, with the Shrews holding a 1-0 lead, it would prove a dream start for the forward, as he managed to bag a brace in the final five minutes of the match to secure a 3-0 victory, which was followed by five further outings and one more goal that term.
It would lead to 30 appearances throughout the 2010/2011 campaign, yielding six goals for Bradshaw as the Shrews were defeated in the play-off semi-final by Torquay, and eight more strikes came over the next three years, during which the club gained promotion to League One in 2012, before relegation two years later.
After rejecting the option of a new deal at the club following their drop back down to League Two, he moved to Walsall on a two-year deal having turned out over 100 times for the Shrews despite being only 21, and after netting on his debut for his new side, he went on to hit 20 goals in his first season at the Bescot Stadium.
His deal at the club was extended for a further year, tying him down until the end of the 2016/2017 season, and he would again reach the 20-goal mark for the Saddlers last year, as he helped the club reach the play-offs, only to end on the losing side against the club who would then lure him away just two months later.
Without a goal in his last four matches, his previous strikes came as he scored a brace in Barnsley`s 3-2 victory at Aston Villa last month, he`ll be keen to find the net at Loftus Road in order to keep the side`s slim chances of a play-off push alive, with Heckingbottom`s men 11 points adrift of the top six with 11 games remaining.