BREAKING NEWS : Barnsley FC key player revealed his family pressure against his play-off fina and

JOHN MCATEE naturally hopes that Tuesday night is not his last game in Barnsley colors in 2023-24, but rather his penultimate. The Reds loanee comes from a sporting family and hopes to become the latest member to play at Wembley Stadium in the play-off final later this month.

To do so, the Yorkshire club must put on a truly outstanding performance when they travel to Bolton Wanderers for the League One play-off semi-final second leg, with the Lancashire club holding a convincing 3-1 lead from the first game at Oakwell as they seek vengeance for last year’s elimination at the same stage of the competition.

Still, weirder things have happened for Barnsley, and you never know in the play-offs. McAtee’s father, John Snr, is familiar with Wembley Stadium, having played in a Great Britain under-23 rugby league international against New Zealand in 1993.

McAtee’s grandpa, also named John, played scrum half for Leigh. His three brothers, Peter, David, and Billy, also played professional rugby league.

John McAtee (@johnmcatee161) / X

While league was once John Snr’s greatest passion, his sporting focus is now fully on football.

McAtee’s great uncle was also the late Alan Ball, who won the World Cup with England at the National Stadium in 1966.

His younger brother, James, was ineligible for last season’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium while on loan at Sheffield United. They played against his parent club, Manchester City.

This evening, the Reds loanee will be in the spotlight at a club not far from his hometown of Walkden, in Salford.

McAtee, who joined Barnsley on a season-long loan from Luton Town last summer, explained: “I’m from Salford, which is about 15 or 20 minutes from Bolton. I believe there were one or two lads at my school who did (support Bolton), but I cannot recall many.

“There may be a lot (from Walkden), but I don’t recall knowing many.

“My family live in Worsley, which is just adjacent to Walkden.”

JOHN MCATEE ARRIVES AT OAKWELL - News - Barnsley Football Club

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Regarding playing for a sporting family, he stated, “I have never felt any form of pressure towards it. I just want to focus on my own career, which I’ve pursued since I was a child.

“I’m not being selfish, but I’m my own person and want to be the best I can be, no matter who has done what in my family.”

“I tried to remain with rugby league but wasn’t very good, so I settled on football. I believe I have made the proper decision.
Regarding his family’s connection to Wembley, he stated, “It’s my dad and my nanna’s brother Alan Ball.

“It’s every English footballer’s ambition, right? To play at the national stadium. I’m looking forward to that if we make it there.”

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