Huddersfield Town’s Christopher Schindler hopes they ‘find a way’ in Germany’s Bundesliga

Huddersfield Town’s German captain Christopher Schindler has his doubts about whether the 2019-20 season can be completed in his homeland, and does not think the English should automatically follow if it does, but he believes it could help the scientific community.

MATTER OF TRUST: Huddersfield Town captain Christopher Schindler says he is is prepared to trust the authorities and their medical advisers. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The central defender, isolating in West Yorkshire, points to the uncertainty about when and if Championship football will return as the biggest test for him in lockdown. The German Bundesliga’s top two divisions hope to restart after the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, the first major European league to do so.

Bundesliga 2 side Dynamo Dresden will return later, having had to postpone matches against Hannover and Greuther Furth because the squad is in 14-day isolation after two players tested positive for Covid-19.

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“They have had to spend a lot of money and effort to force it through,” said Schindler, who played in the second division for 1860 Munich before joining Huddersfield in 2016. “We will see if it turns out to manageable.

Huddersfield Town's Christopher Schindler, left, battles for the ball with Sheffield Wednesday's Atdhe Nuhiu at The John Smith's Stadium last September. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

“Now we have Dresden in isolation and we will have to see what happens if it happens to more teams.

“There’s a time pressure on starting the next season on time because of the European Championships next summer.

“I hope they find a way to bring it through and maybe be an example to other countries but the health system in Germany is different to other countries. It will be hard to say, ‘It’s worked there so we will do it the same way.’

“I also think there’s a second part to it because if they can do it in Germany the scientists will get a massive amount of helpful information which they can use in their research about how the virus reacts in bigger groups in different locations. The most important thing is the health of every single player and manager.

“I have my doubts to be honest, but I hope they find a way because the economy has got to get back to normality eventually.”

The Championship are still looking at ways to see if they too can resume the 2019-20 campaign, and the uncertainty about not knowing when they will next be on the pitch – even Huddersfield’s Canalside training field – have been difficult.

“If there’s a decision, even if it has bad consequences, at least there’s a decision,” said 30-year-old Schindler.

“At the moment it’s really, really tough to keep motivated.

“This is the toughest part in my opinion. As football players we’re still in a kind of okay situation because the financial position is not the biggest issue for us at the moment but like all employees we don’t know what the mid-term futures are going to look like.

“I don’t think anything changed with Sunday’s speech (where Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out his “roadmap” for the UK exiting the lockdown). We just don’t know how this situation is going to develop.”

Despite the uncertainty, Schindler revealed Huddersfield’s lockdown regimes have notably stepped up in recent weeks. In early April, Saturday was earmarked as the earliest possible date for a return to group training.

“A couple of weeks ago it was about getting some amount of work into the bodies but at the moment we’re really strict on the schedule,” he explained. “Every player will have sessions where he has to run as far as he can distance-wise, take a picture and put it into the group. It (the competitive element) is fun but it also drives you on more.

“We got sent a spinning bike so we can do our bike work and we are supposed to do pre-season-style runs with different intensities and volumes.

“It’s difficult because in pre-season you work towards a date, so it’s a different situation for our performance team and our manager, but they’re doing an outstanding job.

“We all got delivered a ball too but you can only do so much technical work with it. At least if we were (training) in a small groups you can make long-range passes and do volleys, now you can only really run through cones.

“I reckon if we go back to playing we will only have a really, really short time until the game is played.”

Some high-profile players, most notably Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, have expressed reservations about completing the season, but Schindler is prepared to trust the authorities and their medical advisers.

“Football’s a contact sport and there’s always going to be a risk of infection,” he reasoned. “The only way to keep it totally safe is vaccination and we don’t know how long that is going to take.

“You have to depend on what the scientists are telling us. If there is a very good chance that we are able to deal with the virus I won’t be scared to go back.

“The difficult thing is you hear so many different things about the virus. It’s not on us to make the call if the Government says we can’t get back.

“It’s a tough call to make with a lot of consequences but I hope we can get back to some normality soon.”

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