Barnsley To Sample Life At The Ritz

Last updated : 06 January 2020 By Rob Miles

Barnsley have made their first signing of the January transfer window with the capture of Austrian winger/left back Marcel Ritzmaier

The 26 year old immediately becomes the joint second oldest member of the squad (behind only Sami Radlinger and Dani Pinillos who are 27) and is well known to current Reds head coach Gerhard Struber who he has played under at Wolfsberger AC in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Ritzmaier started his youth career with TuS Spielberg in 1997 before moving to SV Lobmingtal in 1999 and then FC Judenburg (the town of his birth) in 2004 at the age of 11.

He would continue to feature for youth sides across Austria including SK Austria Karnten before breaking into the first team in July 2009 aged 16, making his first team debut on the 2nd August 2009 against Rapid Vienna.

Ritzmaier's big break came in February 2010 when Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven acquired his services on a two year contract and he would feature for their reserve side Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie whilst also featuring in the Europa League for PSV in 2011-2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 win against Rapid Bucharest and 13 minutes of a 3-0 win at Legia Warsaw.

He would feature in four Eredivise games for PSV in 2012-2013, three of which they won but played only the full 90 minutes on one occasion - a 3-0 win over Feyenoord.

2013-2014 saw Ritzmaier loaned out to fellow Eredivise side SC Cambuur where he would play 31 times and score three goals (first goal in professional football coming against Utrecht in October 2013) but he was also sent off on two occasions as Cambuur would finish in 12th position, eight places and 20 points behind his parent club PSV.

He returned to the Philips Stadion for 2014-2015 but would feature only nine times, four of which were in the Europa League (all in the group stage)

In search of more regular first team football Ritzmaier was loaned out again for 2015-2016 joining NEC Nijmegen and played 20 times, scoring once (in a 1-1 draw at De Graafschap) helping them to finish in 10th place.

2016-2017 saw him make a third and final loan move in Holland, joining Go Ahead Eagles playing 28 times, scoring twice but also being sent off in the penultimate game of the season - a 4-0 loss at Ajax. By this point the Eagles had already been relegated and would finish 10 points adrift at the bottom of the league.

Realising he would probably never break into the PSV side on a regular basis he moved back to his homeland in the summer of 2018, joining Wolfsburger for a reported £540,000 who at the time were coached by Christian Ilzer.

He made 29 appearances in his debut season, scoring once but also seeing red for the fourth time in his career and the side finished in fourth place, a whopping 33 points behind champions Red Bull Salzburg.

That summer Ilzer was replaced at the helm by Struber and Ritzmaier would play 18 times for him this season before Struber departed for England scoring three times in that spell and would play a further four times before the reunion at Oakwell.

Ritzmaier is seen as a combative player who has received 31 yellow cards alongside his four reds including six this season and has represented the Austrian national side at Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21 level.