VALERIEN Ismael left Barnsley to take charge of West Bromwich Albion yesterday after less than a season in charge of the Reds.

The 45-year-old Frenchman was appointed in October of last year after Gerhard Struber left to manage American side New York Red Bulls.

Ismael won 25 of his 44 games as Barnsley boss and led the Tykes to their first second tier play-offs for more than twenty years, with a fifth-place finish and 78 points.

In a heartfelt message to fans on Twitter, Ismael said: “The welcome that you gave me when arriving in Barnsley last October meant so much to me and my family.

“The good wishes on social media, people saying hello in the shops and on the street, your constant warmth and sincerity displayed to me just how special this place truly is.

“Everyone at the club knew just how difficult it was for you not to be at our games.

“We all worked tirelessly to make you and the town proud in what were incredibly dark times.

“I think we achieved that.

“I must also touch on the reception I received at THAT home play-off leg at Oakwell.

“The noise, the emotion, it will live we me forever.

“Unfortunately we were unable to finish the perfect story last season, but I really wish the best for you and all the people associated with Barnsley FC.”