Rotherham United Academy manager Garreth Barker says he has been humbled by the continued application of his five departing scholars in recent weeks, after decisions were made on which players would remain at the club next season.
Following prolonged discussions amongst members of the Academy’s staff, it was decided that five of the Millers’ youngsters, who were part of the team that finished as runners-up in the Youth Alliance League, would leave the club this summer.
However, Barker admits that following the difficult decision was made he was delighted with how the released youngsters conducted themselves as they finished the 2016/17 campaign strongly.
“I have to say that Jovanni [Sterling], Adam [Saxton], Harry [Fidler], Suleman [Naeem] and J'Cee [Abraham] have been terrific and it's been humbling,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Their attitudes have been absolutely fantastic and they have maintained high standards in their football and they've been terrific to work with.”
The Millers’ Academy manager continued to add that the contribution of the departing five players will not be forgotten and insists he and his staff will only be too happy to help them in any way possible further down the line.
“As a staff we have nothing but respect for those boys because of their application over the last few weeks,” Barker explained.
“We've told them that if they come back to us in a month's time, or two or three years time and we can help them with something, we'll be here for them.
“It isn't just a matter of us shaking hands and going our seperate ways, particularly when they have applied themselves like they have and we'll always go that extra yard for them.”
“They have been magnificent and I suspect they'll all get on very well wherever they end up next. We're helping them currently to try and get into other football clubs at whatever standard it is they want to pursue and they've got exit trials to help them.”