Millers Match Zone

A Quick Look Back At Last Season – Pre-Season

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Rotherham United had a nail biting end to the season but a two-nil win on the last day of the season sealed their return to the Championship.

But let’s have a quick look at how the Millers got there, starting with pre-season.

The last game of last season was just two minutes from the end when Rotherham United found themselves relegated after a late Cardiff City equaliser at the Cardiff City Stadium. Just days after that defeat Billy Jones, Shaun MacDonald, Jamie Proctor, Clark Robertson and Kyle Vassell were all released. Robertson moved to Portsmouth, MacDonald joined Crewe Alexandra, Proctor moved to Port Vale

Later in the month Chieo Ogbene got his first call up for the Republic of Ireland, making his debut in their friendly goalless draw away at Hungary, the winger coming off the bench.

After originally signing for the Millers in November 2020 Goalkeeper Josh Vickers put pen to paper on a new deal keeping him at the New York Stadium until 2023.

We were also told by Chairman Tony Stewart that there had been Championship clubs interested in our players including Luton Town and Middlesbrough looking at Michael Smith and Ben Wiles interesting Bristol City.

Right-back Matthew Olosunde turned down a new deal and later in the month signed a deal with Preston North End.

Joshua Kayode was on international duty with the Republic of Ireland U21 side travelling to their training camp in Spain and playing seventy-five minutes of their defeat to Denmark.

Mid-June saw a rumour which appeared to have come from the Mail Online saying our players had received letter asking them to go on furlough. The Chairman said that there was nothing dramatic about this and that it was a ‘government-led scheme and all we are doing is utilising what is there to help out.’

Striker Michael Smith was named the Millers Player of the Year while other awards went to Richard Wood get the PFA Community Player of the Season award, Freddie Ladapo’s cracking winner at Hillsborough saw him get the Goal Of The Season while the Players’ Player Of The Season trophy went to goalkeeper Viktor Johansson. The Supporters Player of the Year went to Wes Harding.

At the end of June there was a rumour that Rotherham had had a bid rejected by St Johnstone for defender Shaun Rooney and while Rotherham were reported to have turned down bids from Ipswich Town for Matt Crooks, July saw the Millers allow Trevor Clarke join Bristol Rovers for an undisclosed fee.

Parkgate was, as usual, Rotherham’s first friendly game where goals from Michael Smith, JJ, Richard Wood, Mickel Miller, a Freddie Ladapo hat-trick, Kieran Sadlier, two from Ben Wiles and one five minutes from time saw the visitors win eleven-nil. Shortly afterwards the squad flew out for a pre-season training camp in Hungary winning a friendly against III.Keruleti TVE seeing goals from Jamie Lindsay, an own goal, a Freddie Ladapo penalty and another goal from JJ to make it a four-nil win.

After a successful trial young ‘keeper Josh Chapman signed a year’s deal at the New York Stadium.

Sadly, we also found out in July that former Miller Keith Bambridge passed away.

Rotherham’s first summer signing saw Shane Ferguson join on a two year deal after being released by Millwall at the end of the season.

A two-all friendly draw away at Rochdale saw the Millers come from two down with Chieo Ogbene and Michael Ihiekwe scoring before they got back to winning ways away at Harrogate Town with Michael Smith scoring twice and Ihiekwe getting a third, the Millers winning three-one.

Matt Crooks said farewell swapping the New York Stadium for the Riverside Stadium at Middlesbrough.

A Michael Ihiekwe goal saw Rotherham get another away friendly win this time at Grimsby before welcoming Premier League side Newcastle United to the New York Stadium which saw Magpies fan Michael Smith opening the scoring on nine minutes with Jeff Hendrick equalising on eighty-four minutes. The last friendly of the season saw Middlesbrough on Rotherham soil with a Paddy McNair goal on fourteen minutes giving ‘Boro the win.

As the season was about to start midfielder Hakeem Odoffin signed for the Millers who had had earlier bids rejected from Hamilton Academicals. This was quickly followed with Rarmani Edmonds-Green joining on loan from Huddersfield Town and midfielder Ollie Rathbone finally joining from Rochdale after bids were rejected earlier in the summer.

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