Barnsley new-boy Sollbauer reveals highlight of move so far
Michael Sollbauer has spoken of how he much he is enjoying his football since moving to Barnsley - and in particular the atmosphere of Championship stadia.
Barnsley signed the Austrian centre-back for an undisclosed fee from head coach Gerhard Struber’s former club Wolfsberger AC in January.
The 29-year-old has become an integral part of the Tykes defence, starting all seven Championship games since his arrival and not missing a single minute of action on the pitch.
Although it came relatively late in his career, Sollbauer admits moving to England made his dreams come true.
“I wanted to take the next step in my development – I didn’t have to think long,” he told Laola.com last week.
Playing in front of crowds of more than 10,000 fans every week is a big departure from the atmosphere inside Austrian grounds.
Sollbauer says his highlight so far has been to perform in front of around 20,000 spectators away against Charlton at The Valley.
Barnsley boss Struber has praised the leadership qualities of recent central defensive recruit, who made a slow start but has recently contributed to successive clean sheets en route to impressive victories over Fulham and Middlesbrough.
29 – After a stoppage following a collision in the Barnsley area, Sollbauer is back on his feet and the game continues.
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“Everyone in Barnsley is crazy about football – the support is really great,” added Sollbauer, who admits the presence of a German-speaking coach and some other players has certainly helped.
Samuel Sahin-Radlinger, Marcel Ritzmaier and Patrick Schmidt are three other Austrians in the Barnsley squad and there is also the German Kilian Ludewig plus his compatriot and Barnsley captain Mike Bahre.
But knowing the coaching staff well was a key factor behind his decision to move to South Yorkshire.
He added: “The coaching team was crucial for me to come to Barnsley. [Analyst] Max Senft and Gerhard Struber have already done a very, very good job at Wolfsberger.”