IT'S been another promising week for the Reds as they have secured a bunch of players on longer contracts.

After last week's signings of Chris O'Grady from Sheffield Wednesday and Dale Jennings from Bayern Munich, boss David Flitcroft turned his attention to securing the services of some of his most important performers from last season.

First up was Tomasz Cywka, who signed a one-year extension. Cywka, who made 33 appearances last season, scored five league goals including a vital equaliser against Burnley.

"I'm happy to have signed," the 24-year-old said. "The second half of last season showed just what we're capable of and I'm looking forward to the new season.

"The way we played when David took over, especially against the top sides and the quality we showed, was the major factor in me wanting to stay here.

"I've never been part of something as crazy and special as what I experienced last season and especially the last game which gave a special feeling to what we accomplished.

"Most of the players from last season have stayed and we will be looking to start this season off in the way we played the second half of last season."

The Polish midfielder was at times instrumental in the Reds' miraculous survival last season and his boss is delighted with his decision to stay.

"He knows us and we know him and he knows what we need and what the fans want," Flicker said. "He probably didn't get as many games as he would have liked last season because we had to change our system, but he is a model professional.

"His conduct is impeccable and his support to the group is unbelievable and I'm delighted to have secured him for Barnsley. He has one of the best work ethics in the club."

Fans' favourite Bobby Hassell was next up to sign a new deal. Also accepting a one-year contract, the veteran will be playing his tenth season at Oakwell.

Having already made 295 appearances for the Reds, Hassell will now surely break into the 300 appearance club. 

The defender, who recently became a father for the fourth time, said: "I’m really happy I’ve been able to sign a new contract. I’m happy with the deal and I’m looking forward to the start of the new season.

Adding to Barnsley's defence, Martin Cranie also signed, this time on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old defender, who began his career at Southampton, made 41 appearances for Barnsley last season.

"I am absolutely delighted to sign a new contract at Barnsley," the former England Under-21 international said. "There was never any doubt that I would be coming back.

"The end to last season will be in everyone's minds for a long time. I don’t think you will see anything like that again. I’ve watched it back a few times and I still can’t believe it happened.

"Coming in today the lads seem very up for the season already - it’s the same sort of vibe that we ended last season. Hopefully we can get a big crowd in."

Then, just as we were all fearing that Luke Steele would leave, he too signed on the dotted line. 

The 28-year-old made his debut for Barnsley in February 2008 against Liverpool. The dramatic FA Cup match saw him win the Player of the Round award. To date he has made 177 appearances between the sticks for the Reds.

We reported here just a matter of weeks ago that he was all set to leave, after being initially offered a one-year extension. 

The writing was seemingly on the wall as David Flitcroft revealed he was on the verge of bringing in a young goalkeeper from Europe. He also said that he 'completely trusts' Ben Alnwick to step up to number one, should Steele have departed.

Flitcroft said: "If Luke was 22 then we'd offer him a two-year or three-year deal, but age is a critical thing and we don't know what our budget will be after this season so we have to plan carefully."

A public outcry ensued but on June 26, the Reds announced that the star goalkeeper had accepted a revised two-year contract.

"Seeing the signings of all the players that did so well last season was important to me," said Luke. "It gives real stability. Often at the end of a season I have been used to a lot of players going out and new ones coming in, but this year it hasn’t been the case.

"I think it’s very important to get that level of consistency which we have now. It feels like we can carry on where we left off from last season. 

"I didn’t ever see myself leaving, although other clubs were interested. There's only one club that I support and that is Barnsley.

"Everything feels so positive at the club just at the moment which is great."

So, another positive pre-season week for the club. Are you happy with the way it's going? The players and staff sound very positive about the coming season.