RUFC - 'Warney's Boys'
Rotherham United are in a play-off place in League One, have gone fourteen games without defeat, the last seven of those being wins.
When Paul Warne took over as Manager things weren't looking so good and he said, in a round-a-bout sort of way that maybe there were players at the club that he didn't see as fitting in.
Well, he's been in the job over a year now and things have improved. Some players did move on but what of the players that Warney brought in?
It seems that eighteen players have arrived since Warney took over in November 2016 - but what's happening to them all now?
The first one that arrived under Warney was goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell in January 2017. The shot stopper came in on a two-and-a-half year deal from Bristol City. His first game in a Rotherham shirt came just a couple of days after he arrived away at Newcastle who he helped keep at bay until the brink of half-time, letting in another three goals in the second half against the Magpies who were on their way to be crowned champions in the Championship. Richard has played twenty-seven times for Rotherham before joining Northampton Town in January who he has made eight appearances for, keeping one clean sheet.
Next to turn up at the New York Stadium was Alex Bray, originally on loan in January but signing a permanent deal in March until the end of next season. The midfielder hasn't had many chances in a Rotherham shirt making just four appearances, all in cup/trophy games. On the final day of the January 2018 transfer window Bray went out on loan to Forest Green Rovers scoring on his debut at home to Coventry.
Left-back Ben Purrington joined on a three-and-a-half year deal from Plymouth making his debut in the Checkatrade Trophy. His league debut came away at Portsmouth when he played the full ninety minutes in our first away win of the season. Ben made another three appearances. From fetching Purrington in, Paul Warne has always stated that he is 'one for the future'. The twenty-one year old is the player ambassador for NCS (National Citizen Service) at Rotherham United Community Sport Trust.
Carlton Morris was another player Warney brought to the New York Stadium at the end of January, on loan from Norwich City. Millers fans were calling him the 'invisible player' as, due to a knee injury, he didn't actually join up with the rest of the squad until March. He went on to play eight games for Rotherham before re-joining Norwich at the end of the season. This season the twenty-two year old forward has been playing on loan for Shrewsbury Town where he's scored eight goals in thirty-nine appearances.
February 2017 saw Swede defender Joel Ekstrand on a deal until the end of the season. His only appearance for Rotherham was in our five-nil loss at Cardiff City with a knee injury putting him out for the rest of the season. January this year saw Joel move back to Sweden with AIK.
Warney started to re-build the team for this season starting by bringing in Michael Ihiekwe on a two-year deal from Tranmere Rovers in May. Probably the Rotherham player who has had his name pronounced in many different way, the defender has made twenty-six appearances for the Millers this season, his only goal so far coming in our five-one home win over Oldham.
Millers fans were beginning to think that no-one wanted to come to play for us this season until July saw six new faces, the first being striker Jamie Proctor. The twenty-five year old soon became a fans favourite, scoring his first goal in the EFL Cup game against Lincoln City. On just his sixth appearance of the season Procts was stretchered off ending his season after a damaging his AC Ligament.
A week after Procts coming in tall striker Kieffer Moore came in on loan from Ipswich Town. Scoring thirteen goals Kieffer is still our top scorer (at the moment) and in that thirteen was a hat-trick over Southend and twice scoring two goals - against Bury and Oldham. A sending off away at Bristol Rovers, where we suffered our last defeat, saw him miss a couple of games with his last game coming at the end of December in our away win at Walsall. Ipswich demanded him back and although the Millers put bids in for the striker he ended up down the road at Barnsley where he's scored once in eight appearances.
A couple of days after Kieffer came his Ipswich colleague Josh Emmanuel. The defender made his debut in the opening game of the season away at Fleetwood. Making the right-back position his own Josh has made twenty-four appearances for Rotherham and I can't see anyone pushing him out.
Midfielder Darren Potter signed a two-year deal coming in from MK Dons. Potts was crucial in helping the Millers up the table but an ankle injury kept him out for a couple of weeks in October and then at the beginning of December he lasted just twenty-six minutes in our away game at Bristol Rovers coming off with an Achilles injury and hasn't played since.
Next one to arrive in June on a two-year deal was Australian Ryan Williams. Joining from Barnsley, Willo's first of four goals came in our five-nil home win over Southend. Ryan has made thirty-four appearances for the Millers his last start being in our one-nil win home win over Portsmouth in mid-January.
Striker David Ball was the last one to arrive in June signing a two-year deal from Fleetwood Town. Ironically his first game in a Rotherham shirt was against his former club. David's first goal came in the Checkatrade Trophy with his first league goal coming at the New York Stadium in November when Wimbledon were in town. David has made thirty appearances for the Millers finding the net eight times so far.
That was it before the season began but the last three days of the summer transfer window saw Warney fetch in three players. Goalkeeper Marek Rodak came in on loan from Fulham. The Slovakian U21 international has played twenty-four times for the Millers keeping six clean sheets and making a few great saves to help get Rotherham to fourth in League One.
With the Window about to shut central-defender Manny Onariase arrived from Brentford for an undisclosed fee. The twenty-one year old made his debut in the Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Chesterfield, playing again in the same competition away at Bradford. In January Manny went out on loan to Cheltenham Town, who he'd previously had a loan spell with from Brentford, and has made five appearances for the League Two side.
Hot on Onariase's heels came Richie Towell on a year long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion. The Irish midfielder is a fans favourite at the New York Stadium and has scored four times in thirty-two appearances, his first goal being the winner in our three-two win over Bury in September.
Losing Kieffer Moore in January was a bit of a blow to the Millers but Warney brought in equally tall striker Michael Smith from Bury and after just eight games the fans are saying 'Kieffer who?'. Smith has scored four times since coming to the New York Stadium and made at least as many, his last one coming late in our home win over Doncaster Rovers.
Twenty-three year old Matty Palmer signed a two-and-a-half year deal on the twenty-fifth January, coming in from Burton Albion. Matty has played just three times so far for the Millers, starting his first game in February in our two-nil home win over Wimbledon.
The last player Warney has brought in was at the end of January who is twenty-five year old forward Caolan Lavery on loan from Sheffield United. Caolan's five appearances, so far, have all come from the bench.
Vital Rotherham on:
Vital Rotherham on: