Youngsters Akeem Hinds and Lewis Murr celebrated signing their new two-year scholarships by being presented to the crowd at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The duo were introduced to the fans during half-time in the Millers 4-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers, and were introduced to club legend John Breckin before having photos taken pitch side with Academy coaches and their families.
Head of Academy coaching Matt Hamshaw has been pleased with the development of both players, who will officially join the under 18s squad for next season.
“Both are honest lads, they are committed and they know just how much in it means to pull on the red jersey for Rotherham, which for us is a big thing,” he said.
“Hakeem left Sheffield United at under 15 level so we have given him a chance here, and after working with him over the past 18 months, we have seen a real upturn in his output.
“He is quick and direct and for those who saw the Manchester United friendly at New York, he played at left-back and did really well. It is not about one game obviously, over a long period of time now he has impressed and we believe he deserves an opportunity.
“Lewis Murr has been with Rotherham United for as long as I can remember, he has been in our system from an early age. He is a local lad who lives within the area, and he is another who has really progressed and we think he has the ability to go on. Sometimes it isn’t always possible but when we do have the chance we want to give local lads an opportunity and Lewis has shown that he deserves the chance.”
The news is another welcome boost for the Academy after two of this season’s under 18s, Darnelle Bailey-King and Kuda Muskwe, were handed two-year professional contracts.
With Jerry Yates impressing the first-team coaching staff in a loan spell at Harrogate Town, and fellow first year pro Mason Warren also progressing, it has been a good end to the year for the Academy staff.
The under 18s are back in action following their Christmas break with a game on Saturday 16th January away at Mansfield Town.