Barnsley FC loanee on family ‘pressure’, Wembley and Bolton Wanderers – just down the road where he is

Barnsley FC loanee on family ‘pressure’, Wembley and Bolton Wanderers – just down the road where he is

JOHN MCATEE naturally hopes that Tuesday night will prove not to be his final game in Barnsley colours in 2023-24 – but his penultimate one.

The Reds loanee, who comes from a family of athletes, hopes to participate in the play-off final later this month at Wembley, making him the latest member of the family to do so.

In order to achieve that, the Yorkshire team will need to treat themselves to an absolutely fantastic evening when they go to Bolton Wanderers for the second leg of the League One play-off semi-final. The Lancashire club leads 3-1 from the first game at Oakwell and is looking to exact revenge for losing to them at the same stage of the competition last year.

Stranger things have, however, happened in the past involving Barnsley, so you never know in the playoffs.

John Sr., McAtee’s father, played rugby league at Wembley in 1993 when representing Great Britain’s under-23 team against New Zealand, therefore he has some experience there.

John, the grandfather of McAtee, was a scrum half for Leigh. Billy, David, and Peter, his three brothers, were all professional rugby league players.

Although John Sr.’s greatest love was league, football is now his primary sport.

Alan Ball, who won the 1966 World Cup with England in the national stadium, was also McAtee’s great uncle.

James, his younger brother, was on loan at Sheffield United and hence ineligible for the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last season. They took on Manchester City, his parent team.

This evening, the Reds loanee is the center of attention at a Walkden, near Salford, club that is not too distant from his childhood home.

McAtee, who left Luton Town for Barnsley last summer on a season-long loan, stated: “I’m from Salford, and it’s about 15 or 20 minutes from Bolton.” I can’t think of many boys at my school who supported Bolton, although I believe there were one or two.

“I don’t personally remember knowing many, although there may be a lot (from Walkden).

“Walkden is not far from Worsley, where my family resides.”

He then on, “I have never really felt any sort of pressure towards that.” in reference to playing for a sporting family. I just want to focus on my own work, which is what I’ve done all my life.

I want to be the best version of myself, regardless of who in my family has done what; this is not selfishness.

“Although I wasn’t particularly good in rugby league, I did try to stick with football. I believe that my choice was the right one.

He said of his family’s connection to Wembley, “It’s my dad and my nanna’s brother Alan Ball.”

“Playing in the national stadium is the goal of every English football player, isn’t it? If we do manage to get there, I am excited about it.

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