Barnsley FC manager Markus Schopp eager to sample ‘special’ Oakwell atmosphere

MARKUS Schopp’s world – much like Valerien Ismael’s in his time in Barnsley – will largely revolve around his new place of work and the immediate vicinity in the weeks and months ahead.

Markus Schopp, Barnsley manager. (Picture: Barnsley FC)
Markus Schopp, Barnsley manager. (Picture: Barnsley FC)

Based in an apartment close to Oakwell the Austrian is already familiar with his surroundings, with his new ‘home’ being just a short walk from the ground.

Unlike Ismael, Schopp will be afforded the full experience of life as the club’s head coach with supporters to be by his side from day one as fans make an overdue return to stadiums.

He said: “Right now I am in a microcosm (bubble); the apartment and the training facilities (at Oakwell). It is not too big, but there is a lot of tradition.

Markus Schopp, the new Barnsley manager at Oakwell. (Picture: Barnsley FC)

“When you walk past the old stand, it brings something special. It is very, very professional (at Barnsley) and that’s a great experience to be part of this tradition.”

Schopp will benefit from the feel-good factor created by Ismael, whose one match in charge at Oakwell in front of a small percentage of fans in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg against Swansea City provided an atmosphere which will be recalled fondly in years to come.

It was also a season to be remembered, with the sale of 11,000 season tickets already ahead of the new campaign conveying the sense of positivity.

That vibe is something that the 47-year-old, whose first home league match at the helm is against Coventry City on August 14, cannot wait to experience. It is also something he believes he and his players can feed off amid the intense demands of the Championship.

He said: “Watching some games now with a crowd it is a different game. To be part of this is something special.

“I am looking forward to all the stadiums being full, to get this atmosphere and this feeling again. I think everybody has been looking forward to it.

“The audience, the crowd. To be in this storm of energy which comes from the stands. It is about the intensity in the game, to play every couple of days and to be in different challenges with the teams. As a coach from a different country, you watch it and think it is unbelievable.

“You are part of this process and now you have to put your ideas in. It makes it really special to me.

“It is more about how you can bring all this intensity every two or three days. It is up to us to find a really good solution that fits for us and we’re on our way to figure out how it works best for us.”