Back in his native Austria, Barnsley forward Patrick Schmidt is enjoying spending quality time with his family as we wait for the football season to resume.
The 21-year-old, who arrived at Oakwell on deadline day last summer, is keeping on top of his fitness by taking advantage of the stunning countryside that his home has to offer as he ventures out on long runs.
“Austria is perfect for being outside; I enjoy the landscape because I don’t like to run between houses in the street,” began Schmidt. “You can think about anything and enjoy the world, so I really like the landscape.
“I’m quite lucky because it’s a small village where I live and I also have a football pitch next to my house, so I have a lot of space for doing runs. I also have football tennis in my garden that I can play with my brother and father. We enjoy the time together, but still football is a big topic in our everyday life.”
As well as going for long runs to maintain his stamina, Schmidt is using this as an opportunity to improve his physicality.
The striker, along with all of his teammates, has been set a conditioning plan by fitness coach Luke Dopson, which is specific to each individual.
“I have to do my home sessions,” continued the former Admira Wacker man. “We have sessions for every position; defenders, midfielders and strikers – everyone has their own programme, and I do it every day.
“I have a lot of time to train at home. Luke and Jordan [Foster] have given me a programme to get my fitness better. I have a small gym in my house so can train a lot, but I’m hoping to be stronger when I come back from this crazy situation.”
The current, unprecedented situation looks set to rumble on for the foreseeable future and it is uncertain times for everyone – not just the world of sport.
When football is all you know, it can be a culture shock to be torn away from the game, and Schmidt wants nothing more than to be back playing, but insists everyone’s wellbeing is more important at this time.
“Of course, it’s a difficult time because all we want to do is play football,” asserted the forward. “But, in my opinion, we can’t change the situation – it is what it is – and we have to wait until everything will be a little bit better.
“I miss football and playing in front of thousands of people, being at the club with the players and doing funny things in the changing room. But the most important thing is to stay healthy and we have to stay positive in every situation and enjoy the time with our families.”
This season has been one of transition for the Austrian, who has embraced life in a new country with open arms and is adjusting to the demands of the Sky Bet Championship.
He, of course, scored that crucial winner at Millwall just before Christmas and is eager to help Barnsley climb out of the drop zone when play eventually returns.
“I expected that it would be a very tough league, but I’m very glad that I took this opportunity to go to a very big club,” said Schmidt. “We’re in a special league and a special country, and I really like it and would do it all over again because I think it was the right decision.
“I’ve learnt a lot of things, of course I would like to score more goals and I hope we can stay in the Championship and that next year will get a lot better. But I think the first year has been OK.”