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Club News

Academy Manager checks in

28 June 2013

Millers appoint former Bolton coach...

Rotherham United have appointed Garreth Barker as the new Academy Manager.

Barker joins the Millers after a spell in the Academy setup at Bolton Wanderers and brings with him a wealth of coaching experience, and explains how the future of the club sold him on his decision to join.

“It’s an exciting period for the football club,  there’s good development with the new stadium and a new training ground coming in the next 12 months or so. For the academy, we’ve got a great move to Sheffield Hallam University at a purpose built facility, and there’s some excellent staff here which is very good for me. It’s a fantastic opportunity and I hope I’ll be able to be here for a long time.

He started his coaching career with Crewe Alexandra and has since held coaching positions in the youth structures at Morecambe, Preston North End and Wigan Athletic.

After leaving Wigan he joined Blackpool where he held the position of Assistant Head of Youth, whilst also taking the position of acting Head of Youth. 

He joined Bolton’s Academy in 2011 but moved to the Millers to head up the Academy at a time where the club confirmed two professional contracts to Academy graduates Nicky Walker and Tony Thompson only last month.

“I was at Crewe Alexandra which was a good education for me, and then part-time at Port Vale and some non-league football. I had four or five seasons at Blackpool working from reserve team level to managing the Centre of Excellence before a couple of years at Bolton Wanderers in a Cat 1 Academy. But because I wanted a senior position and the chance to be in charge myself, accepted the position here when I was offered it at Rotherham.

“I have absolutely no ambition to work in a first-team environment. I’ve done it in the past, having been around reserve team football; I made it clear I wouldn’t want to be a manager because I don’t know how you’d put up with the stresses that involves, youth development is very much where I want to be in my career.

“Under 18s is a great challenge, it’s the transitional period from schoolboy football to men’s football, and it’s crucial we get this right, getting the lads into reserve team football and further, and who knows maybe in future we can look towards a Cat 1 or Cat 2 Academy and have an Under 21s for the lads. 

Barker replaces former Academy Manager Steve Moss who has left the club alongside Head of Academy Coaching Tony Mee, who has taken up a position with York City. Rotherham United would like to thank Steve and Tony for their hard work and commitment whilst being with the club, and we wish them well for the future.

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