Daniel Stendel hopes the Barnsley players who have been away on international duty return with extra                confidence. 

Luke Thomas has been in action for England under 20s while Aapo Halme and Patrick Schmidt have been away with the under 21s sides of Finland and Austria respectively. 

Stendel told the Chronicle: “It’s an honour for the players and for our club. I said to our players at the start of the season that they are being given a big chance to play at a good level and, if they play well, they will get rewards like playing for their country.” 

Winger Thomas made his debut for England under 20s in their 1-0 success at Switzerland on Monday. He started the game but was substituted for Luton Town’s Luke Bolton who then set up the winner for Leeds United’s Jack Clarke in the 93rd minute. Thomas had been an unused substitute for the goalless draw with the Netherlands in Shrewsbury four days earlier. 

Stendel said: “For Luke Thomas it is a big honour that he gets the invitation for the England under 20 team. In our first games, he was the player who surprised me the most by how well he played. I hope being with the England squad gives him confidence for the next games.” 

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Centre-back Halme captained Finland under 21s’ in their 2-0 success in Ukraine on Friday in a European Championship qualifier. They then drew 1-1 at home to Northern Ireland on Tuesday in another qualifier. 

“Aapo played his first game in the league for us at Wigan, which was not easy but he did well. He has played 90 minutes twice for Finland and got a win and a draw which will give him confidence.”

Striker Schmidt came off the bench for Austria under 21s in a 4-0 success at Albania on Monday. He also came on in their 3-1 win in Andorra earlier in the week. Left-back Ben Williams had to pull out of the Wales under 21s squad for their two games this week due to injury.