Date:Tuesday December 19 2006
'Will needs your help'
The plea comes from Mark Thomas, chairman of RUST (Rotherham United Supporters Trust), who says it may be a difficult time for the player amid transfer speculation and his decision to turn down a new contract.
He told the Sheffield Star today,
'He could become fairly confused, being pulled in different directions, listening to advice and not quite sure what to do,' said Thomas, a lifelong Millers fan.
'One of the great memories of this season was the Crewe game when Will was outstanding. Myself and some friends saw him talking, during the game, to Richie Partridge and it was obvious he was clearly enjoying his football.
'This was a boy in his own backyard, loving what he was doing - and in life, in your job, that's a wonderful thing.
'Since then we've had all the speculation, about which clubs are supposedly watching him, if he's leaving come the transfer window, and fans get worried. Then we hear that the offer of a new contract has been turned down.
'This is a young man at an early stage in his career and it is human nature that the attention of other clubs and of agents will be flattering.
'All good judges seem to think that it would be better in the long term for him to stay at Millmoor for another year, in a team and an environment where he is appreciated, and to be playing first-team football rather than uproot and go elsewhere where he may well not get an opportunity.
'He could go somewhere else but may not get the sort of opportunity to develop that he has had this season at Rotherham and will continue to have.
'He has a manager (Alan Knill) here who knows him and has shown great faith in him. I would hope that Will would trust the footballing judgement of someone who has helped bring him through and who believed in him when others doubted him rather than go with the suggestions of others for short-erm benefits.
'I contrast the joy he showed and the enjoyment of the Crewe performance with the reports I've received from Cheltenham where he seemed not to be on his game.
'Obviously there was a lot of pressure, being pulled one way and the other, and he needs the support of all the fans at Millmoor. I'm sure he's going to get it.
'It is for the benefit of the team, the club and the player.'
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