Dominic Ball says he is working hard to make up for lost time as he bids to force his way into Paul Warne’s plans.
The former Tottenham Hotspur defender found himself in limbo last season after his loan with Peterborough United was cut short, meaning he couldn’t play for the Millers for the last quarter of the season.
Now with a clean slate, and a full pre-season behind him, the young defender is looking to take the eye of the coaching staff as he attempts to break into the starting 11 on a regular basis.
“I think I was definitely playing catch up,” Ball told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Last season wasn’t great for me with what happened, but that has really motivated me to do well this season. I am just going to keep my head down, work extremely hard and that’s all I can do to be honest.
“Pre-season has been really good. The Gaffer said that before we left for Austria it was obviously not a holiday, it was going to be a training camp. Everyone knew what to expect, so all the lads just embraced it. No-one slacked off, all the lads gave it their all and we all look forward to the longer term benefits. There were no major injuries, you can already see some of the benefits, and all the lads look fitter and sharper for the experience.”
Ball arrived at the AESSEAL New York Stadium just a fortnight before the start of the last campaign, meaning his pre-season was split between the Millers and previous club Spurs.
To have a full pre-season in South Yorkshire has been a major benefit to Ball, with the squad enjoying some quality time out in Austria.
“It was important for me, and for the others who haven’t, to experience a Rotherham United pre-season,” he added.
“The team spirit is excellent; we have a good tight knit group already forming here. The main benefit is having nearly all the squad in place during the time in Austria because that gives us all the opportunity to really buy into the training methods and the tactics of the manager and his staff, and that’s what we have done.”
Ball has League One experience from his stint at London Road last season, and whilst he acknowledges the division is tough, he has backed Warne’s side to give a good account of themselves this season.
“It was obviously good to have some of those games in League One last season with Peterborough,” Ball reiterated.
“We played against some of the top sides like Sheffield United, and it was good to see the way the league is. I would say whilst it is very early days, from what I have seen during pre-season, we have a really good chance of kicking on in what is a highly competitive league.”