Matt Hamshaw talks to www.themillers.co.uk...Rotherham United coach Matt Hamshaw says Jerry Yates’ senior league debut marked a proud moment for himself and all those associated with the club’s Academy staff.
The Doncaster-born forward, who progressed through the ranks at AESSEAL New York Stadium, introduced himself in style on his Sky Bet Championship maiden outing, notching a first half goal before securing the Sponsors’ Man of the Match award in the game against Norwich City.
Hamshaw is no stranger to Yates’ abilities having helped nurture his talent in the club’s youth setup but says the injury to Danny Ward opened a window of opportunity for the 20-year-old waiting in the wings.
“Wardy had a bad back which could have affected the team but it gave an opportunity to young Jerry Yates who I obviously know really well and it was a proud day for myself, his family but everybody in the Academy,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“A lot of hard work has gone in and it was great to see him fulfill the potential that certainly I've felt he's had for a long time.”
While the former Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County player had no doubts over Yates’ potential, he admits that sometimes as a young professional you need to be in the right place at the right time for your chance and says the Millers’ youngster has always impressed when called upon previously.
“I also think it's opportunity. Sometimes as a young player you get the odd opportunity and when that comes along you have to take it and to be fair to Jerry, everytime I've seen him he's done really well.
“Whether that's been coming on as sub or in the cup game earlier in the season, where he scored a couple of goals.
Hamshaw concluded by admitting that whilst opportunities for Yates to break into the Millers’ attack have been limited since his showing against Morecambe in the EFL Cup, he was always confident that his personality and approach to training would see him rewarded with another further down the line.
“He probably didn't get an opportunity after that but sometimes that's football and that's life,” he continued.
“You have to get your head down and the one thing that Jerry has got is good character. What happened Friday was well-publicised but the fact that he could turn around from that speaks volumes of the lad.
“He's honest, hard-working and determined. It's not always going to be rosy and he won't always play that well and there will be ups and downs because young players have them but we'll have to monitor him and put him in and take him out. That said, what a great start for him personally and to get the goal in the manner that he did let's hope it can be the start of a good run for him."