|Full name||Darren Sean Barnard|
|Date of birth||30 November 1971|
|Place of birth||Rinteln, Germany|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Playing position||Left wing back/Midfielder|
|1994||→ Reading (loan)||4||(0)|
|2010–2011||Camberley Town (Joint with Paul Miles)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Darren Sean Barnard (born 30 November 1971) is a German-born Welsh former professional footballer, manager and coach.
As a footballer he was a wing back and Midfielder from 1989 until 2010, notably in the Premier League for both Chelsea and Barnsley. He also played in the Football League for Reading, Bristol City and Grimsby Town before a spell in the Conference National for Aldershot Town and finishing his career with Non-league Camberley Town. He was also capped 24 times for Wales
In 2007 whilst a player with Camberley Town, he also became the club's technical director before becoming first team manager in 2010. He stepped down from his role following the end of the 2011–12 season. He has since worked as the Academy manager of Aldershot Town.
Chelsea paid non-league Wokingham Town £100,000 to seal the signature of 18-year-old Darren Barnard in July 1990. He had to wait almost 2 years for his first team debut as he was competing with the established first team players Gareth Hall and Frank Sinclair for a place in the team. During his time at Chelsea, Barnard played for Bobby Campbell Ian Porterfield and Glenn Hoddle, but was only given a regular run in the team by caretaker manager David Webb. Barnard was signed at a time when the Blues were attempting to boost their standing in the First Division with the expensive purchases of Dennis Wise and Andy Townsend, Darren was forced to wait almost two years for his first-team debut. Comfortable playing anywhere along the left-flank, his first appearance was as a replacement for Vinnie Jones in a 2–1 win over West Ham United towards the end of the 1991–92 season, and after two further substitute appearances he was rewarded with his first start, it coming in a disappointing 3–1 defeat at Aston Villa. Manager Ian Porterfield resisted the opportunity to include Darren in his side at the beginning of the following campaign, preferring to play Gareth Hall out of position in the absence of regular left-back Frank Sinclair, and with the exception of an outing at Coventry City in October it wasn't until the final three months of the campaign – after David Webb was drafted in to replace Porterfield for the remainder of the season – that Darren became a regular fixture. Given the freedom to roam on the left of Chelsea's midfield, he impressed with a number of cultured displays, the best of which came against Middlesbrough when he came up against Boro's right-back Curtis Fleming eventually leading to the Irishman's injuring Barnard with a cut to the shin. He scored his first goal for the club that day, in what was a 4–0 win, and could look back with pride on a record that season of eight starts resulting in five wins, two draws and just a single defeat. However, Darren was restricted to only nine starts in 1993–94, primarily as a left-back. A mid table league campaign was compensated for by a run to the final of the FA Cup, and although he did not feature in the final itself, Darren did play in the semi-final victory over Luton Town after replacing the injured Craig Burley late in the first-half. He struck his only goal of the season in a 2–0 defeat of West Ham in March, and his final appearance for the club came six weeks later when he was selected for in the side that was beaten by Coventry City as Hoddle chose to protect his likely cup final team. Despite remaining with the club for a further 18 months, Darren failed to reappear in the first-team, eventually joining Bristol City in October 1995 for a fee of £175,000, a move which proved to be a launching pad for his career as he went on to become a full international in the colours of Wales.
Darren transferred to Bristol City for £175,000. Two seasons in Division Two culminated in losing in the play off semi finals to Brentford. Bought from Chelsea, where he had made just a handful of first team appearances, Darren initially played on the left wing for City. However, manager Joe Jordan started to play him at left wing-back shortly after his move to the club, and before long, Darren was a fully fledged left wing-back. His ability to run with the ball down the wing, overlap with Brian Tinnion and, of course, his free kicks had earnt him some plaudits. Unfortunately, Barnard left the club soon after, to join Barnsley in the Premier League, so this partnership was never seen in a competitive City side. Barnard scored 17 goals in 76 games for City.
Barnsley were looking to strengthen their squad after promotion to the Premier League for the 1997–98 season, signing Darren for £750,000 as well as players like Eric Tinkler and Georgi Hristov. Darren became a Welsh international during this season, making his debut for Wales in a 0–0 draw against Jamaica on 25 March 1998 and went on to collect 18 caps whilst at Barnsley. Unfortunately for Barnsley the Premier League dream lasted only one season, but Darren played on for them in the First Division for another four seasons and played in the 1999–00 play off final defeat to Ipswich Town, in which he missed the opening penalty in the match, the last missed penalty at the old Wembley stadium, although Barnsley were awarded another which Craig Hignett scored. The goalkeeper, Richard Wright, as a result was sold to Arsenal for 7 million pounds). In the 1998–99 season, Darren turned down a move to go to Southampton in November, on his first game after he declined the move he scored what possibly could be one of the all-time great goals for his club and himself, a left footed volley from the corner of the penalty area after a fine pass by Nicky Eaden. The goal was in Barnsley's 7–1 win over Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on 27 November 1998, a game shown live on Sky Sports. Barnard scored 28 goals in 201 appearances for the club with many assists.
Barnard joined Grimsby Town for the start of the 2002–03 season along with fellow Barnsley player Steve Chettle. Barnard was used as a left sided midfielder in his first season while under manager Paul Groves, but was also used at left back, the latter was primarily his main position after the departure of Tony Gallimore in the summer of 2003. In both Darren's seasons at Blundell Park he suffered relegations in which Grimsby went from Division One to Division Three. Following the club's financial difficulties many of Barnard's colleagues had been inexperienced youngsters. Despite not having any luck at his club, Darren collected another 6 Welsh caps, the last as a substitute against Norway on 27 May 2004, coincidentally alongside former Grimsby team-mates Danny Coyne and John Oster.
The former Aldershot and Farnborough District schoolboy joined Aldershot Town in August 2004 after leaving Grimsby Town. The Welsh international left-sided defender was a major signing by the Aldershot manager Terry Brown, becoming the club's penalty taker. In 2007 Darren was made club captain as well as playing and captaining the Welsh semi Professional side. Darren scored 24 goals in 127 appearances for Aldershot Town.
Barnard moved to sign for Camberley Town prior to his release from Aldershot in 2007. As well as being used as a player, Darren was also appointed the Director of Football for the club, and later the general manager. In May 2010 he was appointed joint first team manager alongside ex-Reading and Wycombe Wanderers player Paul Miles. Darren became sole Manager after Paul Miles resigned in October 2011. In 2010 Barnard started his 'A' Licence coaching badge in Manchester. Other players on the course run through the PFA included David Lee, Paul Williams, Paulo Wanchope and ex team mate Shaun Goater. In May 2012, Barnard decided to move on from Camberley Town 1st team and stepped down as the Manager. Darren still had links with the club through his next venture.
Professional Footballers Soccer Academies
In July 2011, Darren become Director and Head Coach for Professional Footballers Soccer Academies. Based at a local 6th Form school and in conjunction with Camberley Town FC. The role included Players receiving daily training involving individual and team coaching focusing on the Roles and Responsibilities of the players within the team. Players received guidance on individual Football fitness, nutritional advice and a regular appraisal to monitor each player’s development both on and off the pitch. Players had the opportunity to represent the Football club through the Academy, youth, and college or reserve team, with the aim to progress into the first team or progressing to higher placed teams.
Barnard was appointed Academy Manager of Aldershot Town in August 2013 just after the club had come out of administration following relegation from the Football League the previous season. Darren was approached by Aldershot Town Football Club to reinstate the club's Youth Academy after coming out of administration. Darren very quickly formed a squad of 30 players and although very successful on the pitch it was Darren's organisational and man management skills behind the scenes moulding the players into a well drilled unit both on and off the pitch that really stood out. With a vast amount of experience having played himself at the highest level, Darren understood the welfare and player liaison duties that go with a modern managers position. Once the Academy was established and running the decision was taken for Darren to go and explore alternative routes in his football career.Darren left Aldershot Town in December 2013.
Masters Football is a branded six-a-side game designed for older (35+) former professional footballers. Barnard also played for Chelsea in the 2007 London masters. Chelsea won the trophy with Darren collecting the Golden Boot award. Barnard also played for the PFA in the Hong Kong 2007 Sevens, losing in the Finals. Barnard collected the Golden Boot award for the second time in 2008 for Chelsea in the London Masters. In 2009 Darren played for Wales in the Sky Masters, losing out in the final to Ireland. Barnard got his third Golden Boot award in 2010 for Chelsea in the London Masters. Barnard also scored his first hat trick for Chelsea old boys against Reading old boys in 2010.
- "Darren Barnard". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- "Wales – International results – 2000–2009". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Darren Barnard-'I'm not too worried for myself' Guardian Article May 2002 Confirms Transfer Fee to Bristol City as £175,000 retrieved 16 November 2010
- rsssf.com – Welsh International Matches
- sporting-heroes.net – Player Profile (Chelsea)
- Reading FC International players
- Barnard's Wonder goal against Huddersfield (video)