Barnsley forward Patrick Schmidt has admitted it’s ‘a shame’ that manager Gerhard Struber has left to join New York Red Bulls.
The Austrian, who had been in charge of the Tykes for 11 months and managed to keep them in the Championship last season, left to become manager of the MLS side last week.
They were said to have met a significant contractual release clause to hire the 43-year-old, who had earned himself a glowing reputation at Oakwell after replacing Daniel Stendel in 2019.
His departure is a significant blow for Barnsley, who had been hoping to kick on under his leadership this season. And Schmidt admits he’ll be sorely missed by all at the club, particularly the players.
“It’s a shame that he’s leaving us,” he told Laola.
“He not only had a huge standing with us players, but in the club in general. He was also extremely well received by the fans.
“He had a great relationship with all the players; everyone really liked him. He always made sure that the mood in the team was right. It was a really great time with him.”
Unlike Struber, Schmidt remains with Barnsley and is keen to make a bigger impression than he managed in his first year.
The 22-year-old arrived at the club in a €1.2m deal from Admira Wacker and managed 33 appearances in total, although most of these were from the bench.
He was, however, able to make his mark with a goal and assist in their final two games helping them to keep the club in the Championship.
That was a big moment for the youngster, who admits the move to England has certainly been a learning experience.
“Before moving to England, I thought I was self-sufficient, but I still lived with my parents,” he added.
“For the first six months, I was on my own, had a lot of things to do that I always gave to my parents before. Looking for an apartment, car, insurance – a lot has come my way.
“And then another country with a different language. But this challenge was good for me. For that reason alone, I have developed personally.
“In terms of sport, the Championship is a league of its own; it’s hard to compare. Football is very different from what I was used to from Austria.
“The last 14 months have been a huge thing for me. I am very grateful for these experiences.”