Sports Academy welcomes new student athletes

We were delighted to welcome some new faces to Barnsley College and the Sports Academy this week. Atley, Dempsey, George, Josh and Tom have enrolled onto our Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport starting in September. They have also signed up to our male Football Academy for the new season.

We thought we’d find out a bit more about their footballing journey so far…


Name – Atley Jackson

Position – Attacking Midfielder

School – Barnsley Academy

Atley signed for Ardsley Athletic aged 7 and has been an ever present in their side since. He previously played for Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday. Atley also spent five years with Barnsley Schoolboys. He represents South Yorkshire under-16s and recently travelled to America with the under-18s side for a tournament in Arizona.


Name – Dempsey Smith

Position – Wing-back

School – Horizon Community College

Dempsey started playing football as an eight year old for Worsbrough Common FC. Originally deployed as a winger, Dempsey enjoyed two great seasons for Worsbrough, winning the Golden Boot, Player’s Player and Manager’s Player of the Year Awards. Alongside Atley, Dempsey joined Ardsley Athletic before being called up to Barnsley Schoolboys and captaining South Yorkshire under-16s.


Name – George Davis

Position – Striker

School – Penistone Grammar School

George has been playing football since the age of five where he signed for Barugh FC. He was scouted by a number of clubs but chose to sign for Barnsley FC at eight years old. Following his release from Barnsley, George went back into grassroots football most recently playing for Staincross Rangers. George said: “I am delighted to have signed a contract with the Sports Academy and can’t wait to get started.”


Name – Josh ‘Macca’ McLauchlan

Position – Attacking midfielder

School – Shelley College

Josh, also known as Macca, started playing football at Penistone Church before having spells at both Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley FC. He currently plays for the Elite Under-16s at Doncaster Rovers and is travelling to Portugal to represent them in the Ibercup in April. Macca has previously played against the academy sides of Real Madrid, Juventus, Sporting Lisbon and Real Betis.


Name – Tom Smith

Position – Midfielder

School – Kirk Balk Academy

Tom is a talented midfield player currently playing for Ardsley Athletic alongside Dempsey and Atley. He has also played for Barnsley Schoolboys and had spells at both Barnsley FC and Sheffield Wednesday.

We look forward to welcoming our new student athletes in September!

Are you a talented athlete looking to further your sporting development whilst studying at Barnsley College? We offer students the opportunity to achieve both academic and sporting success. For more information visit:

Alternatively you can contact Luke Forgione by emailing or calling 01226 216 387.