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READ | Academy duo sign professional deals

1 June 2017

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Young Millers duo pen professional deals...

Rotherham United are delighted to confirm that second year scholar Ben Wiles has been handed a one-year professional contract with the club, while fellow Academy player Akeel Francis has signed a contract until December 2017.

The pair have agreed their first senior deals with the Millers having impressed during the 2016/17 campaign.

The Rawmarsh-based Wiles has been in the Academy system since joining the Under 8’s age group in 2007 and pens a contract that will see his stay with the Millers extend beyond the 10-year mark.

Wiles played an instrumental role for the Youth Team as they finished in second place in the Youth Alliance League, as well as impressing in a number of the club’s reserve fixtures in 2016/17 and Academy manager Garreth Barker was delighted to see the youngster’s efforts rewarded with his first senior deal.

“Ben is a young man we know really well and his attitude and application has been excellent throughout his years in the Academy,” he told

“He enjoyed a very good season last term in what was a really successful year for the Academy and I know Paul Warne and the staff have been impressed with how he has acquitted himself when joining the first team in training.”

Meanwhile, Francis has put pen-to-paper on a shorter term contract with the club which will see him look to prove himself worthy of a longer deal in the run up to the turn of the year.

“Akeel has been excellent as well and has been given a six month deal, which is a really good opportunity for him to show the first team staff what he can do,” Barker continued.

“He has scored a lot of goals for the Youth Team and has done well in the reserves as well, despite being injured during the season.

“I think it works out well for both parties, in that, Akeel gets an extended period to show the club that he is worth a longer contract and as a club, we get a bit longer to monitor his development, but I’m very happy he’s staying on.”

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