The 'toilet roll challenge’ and photoshopped videos of Sami Radlinger have been keeping the Barnsley squad entertained during isolation, says striker Patrick Schmidt. 

The 21-year-old Austrian is back in his home country during the coronavirus outbreak but keeping in touch with his team-mates and coaches. Schmidt told the Chronicle: “There is a lot of banter in the group chats on WhatsApp. We have one with the players and one with the coaches as well. There are a lot of funny videos and pictures. Every day someone posts something new. We are all young players and we like to have fun. 

“Sedgy (physio Craig Sedgwick) started the toilet paper challenge and we have all tried to keep it in the air as long as we can. I think Clarkey (Clarke Oduor) did very well. He was the best in our squad. “Sami Radlinger sent a video of Hachim Mastour (Morocco and Reggina player) from Instagram, who was doing some crazy skills with the toilet paper, and cut out his head and put Sami’s head on the body instead. It was very funny.”

Schmidt – who joined Barnsley from Admira Wacker last August – was top of last week’s ‘league table’ for the work the Barnsley players have been doing at home as they keep themselves fit during the break from football. He said: “I saw some pictures of the league table and I was on top. That is a good reward for doing a lot of running. I enjoy it. I don’t like running on streets, I like running in the countryside and you can do that where I am. I go for a lot of runs with my mother. I am doing the work I have been given by the club in the mornings and I have been cycling on my bike as well.

"I have a football pitch very close to my house and I have been playing ‘football tennis’ in the garden with my father and my brother. I am enjoying being back in Austria and I am very grateful that the club let us go back to our families. My family are very happy that I can spend some time with them because they haven’t seen me for many months. It was my dad’s birthday this week so it was good to celebrate that with him. We have played cards, we watch movies and we can go for a walk.” 

It is unknown when the leagues will restart and whether games will be held behind-closed-doors.  Schmidt said: “It is a difficult time. All you want to do is play football. But we can’t change the situation. We just have to wait until everything is a bit better. The most important thing is to stay healthy, stay positive, enjoy our time with our families. I do miss football, especially playing in front of thousands of people at Oakwell and being with the players and having fun in training.  Football is a very, very big thing for everyone in the world. But it can only start again if it is not risky. If it is behind closed doors, I won’t like that and I would prefer not to have to do that, but it is better than not playing at all.”