Barnsley’s star player of 2010 now finds himself in the Premier League – 23-year-old Adam Hammill now plying his trade with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Three years his junior, Tykes player Jacob Butterfield hopes he, too, is heading for the big time – and ideally at Oakwell.
The ink is now well and truly dry on Hammill’s transfer form – the Liverpudlian sealing his move to Molineux 10 days ago with a host of Premier League interest coming in the aftermath of a blistering first half of the season at Barnsley.
Hammill had undoubtedly been the Reds’ most impressive home- grown talent, but quietly blossoming in midfield is Butterfield, the Bradford-born player already in his fourth season as a professional at Oakwell and now having firmly broken into the Tykes first team.
With 56 Reds appearances already to his name, 20-year-old Butterfield can clearly look forward to an exciting future with the young Yorkshireman having no qualms with Hammill’s move onwards and upwards to further his career.
Butterfield hopes he, too, will end up a Premier League player and believes that in years to come that can be achieved with Barnsley.
Speaking about dreams of the Premier League, Butterfield said: “I was really pleased for Adam for every young player wants to play in the Premiership.
“He’s had a good season and he had the opportunity to go there so I don’t think anyone can begrudge him that.
“I’m a couple of years younger than Adam, I’m still only 20 and that’s definitely one of my aims -– to get in the Premiership.
“We’ll take one step at a time. I’ll keep trying to play well at Barnsley and we’ll see what happens.
“I’m a Barnsley player at the minute and I’m really settled here.
“I really enjoy it, I’ve been here since I was a youngster and hopefully I can keep going at Barnsley.
“Hopefully we can push on up the table and get there ourselves.”
The Tykes did just that, climbing up the table, with Tuesday night’s impressive 2-0 victory at Doncaster. It hauled them up to 13th in the table and only eight points behind sixth-placed Leeds with a game in hand.
New recruit striker Danny Haynes, pictured left, signed from Bristol City, bagged both goals and Butterfield feels the forward will be a shrewd acquisition.
And he also feels that a brace on his debut will do wonders for Haynes’ confidence.
“It will give him a great boost and will help him to settle in,” he said.
“They were two good goals but, more importantly, it helps the team.
“Danny will be good for us, he has got a lot of pace. The lads were delighted after the game.
“I also thought we played well at home against Swansea on the Saturday, I felt we deserved to win, but that didn’t happen.
“However, to go to Doncaster and put on a great performance and get a win, the lads were delighted and so was the manager.”
In keeping with his Premier League ambitions, Butterfield now sees no reason while the Reds cannot reach the play-offs.
“You’ve always got to aspire to get into the play-offs but it’s a crazy league,” said the midfielder.
“You win one game and you start looking up seeing how far you are off the play-offs, but if you lose a few you start looking down seeing how far you are from relegation!
“If we can put a good run together, the same as any team, we’ll be knocking on the door.
“We’ll take a lot of confidence from Tuesday night and the way we have played in the last couple of games.
“Hopefully we can kick on, put a good run together and that will take us higher up the table.
“There’s still a lot of football to be played so anything can happen but we want to get as high as possible and into the play-offs.”
Next up for the Tykes is Tuesday night’s hosting of Preston and while former star man Hammill is now on to pastures new, Butterfield looks nigh on certain to be clocking up yet another start in the heart of Barnsley’s midfield.
After joining the club as a youngster, Butterfield has long stated his desire to become a first-team regular and is delighted that a regular spot is now almost a given, but the 5ft 11in midfielder is taking nothing for granted.
“Things change very quickly in football,” he said.
“You can be in the team doing well one minute and then for whatever reason you can find yourself out of the side.
“I’m not going to take anything for granted, I’ll keep working hard, will keep trying to impress and will keep developing my game.
“Hopefully, things should take care of themselves.”
Indeed they should and with the young Tykes player not turning 21 until June, Butterfield hopes his best days are very much ahead of him.
“I’m still very young,” said Butterfield, who recently bought his first apartment in Huddersfield.
“There’s loads more to come from me and I think that I will only get better the more I play and the older I get. My target is to show what I can do.”