Darnelle Bailey-King earns Rotherham United contract...Rotherham United Academy prospect Darnelle Bailey-King has become the second youngster at the club this season to have earned a professional contract at AESSEAL New York Stadium, subject to FA ratification.
Darnelle joins fellow Academy attacker Kuda Muskwe in being rewarded with a two year senior contract with the Millers following an impressive season in both youth and reserve team fixtures so far this season.
Academy Manager Garreth Barker was delighted to see another member of his young squad secure a professional contract and they will join last season’s graduates Jerry Yates and Mason Warren in Neil Redfearn’s team.
“We have two professionals already in the system and now Kuda and Darnelle have come through,” he enthused.
“They’ve both proven throughout the course of this season that they deserve their contracts and I think it shows the rest of the Academy that the football club wants to see its young players progress to the first team.”
Bailey-King, who can operate on either wing, has been instrumental in Muskwe’s impressive goal return this season, providing the ammo with a number of assists in both league and reserve competitions.
“He’s got good pace and agility and makes aggressive forward runs. He has introduced some real quality into his delivery this season and he’s becoming more and more consistent.
“He plays the game with a smile on his face and he likes the football club and people here and long may it continue.”
Barker continued to declare his delight at both players’ contributions in the 2015/16 campaign but insists they will continue to work hard with a host of fixtures left to play in both the Youth Alliance and Final Third Development leagues.
“I’ve already seen both lads play in the Final Third Development League games against teams that would compete at Conference and League Two level and they’ve matched them.,” he explained.
“Those experiences have stood the entire Academy squad in good stead for their careers and the reserve league bridges the gap between youth and first team football.
“We’ve got four or five months of the youth team season left and both boys will keep their feet firmly on the ground as they’re both very humble."