New Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker says he had no hesitation in joining his former club to work alongside his ex-team mate and current Millers boss Paul Warne upon accepting his new role.
The 41-year-old’s return to South Yorkshire was confirmed earlier today, with Barker joining the Millers coaching team in time for Saturday’s Championship finale against Derby County.
Barker leaves League One side Charlton Athletic to rejoin the Millers, after enjoying two playing spells with the Club between 2001-2004 and 2008-2009 and says it felt right to rejoin the Millers for a third stint.
“I'm delighted and once the conversation took place a fair few weeks ago now, which we tried to keep under wraps but couldn't, I felt it was right,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“When he first rang me and asked if it was something I'd be interested in immediately I said yes. I think when you answer a question so quickly, it suggests you've made the right decision.
“We played together for those four years, again back in those early 2000's. We hit it off quite well in terms of people and our families were at the same sort of level, with our sons and daughters born at the same sort of time and our wives got on well and we've continued to keep in touch really.
“We're similar sort of people with the same sort of values so I'm looking forward to it. I know it's his first time but with a bit of luck I can be a bit of a help and a sounding board for him.”
During his long playing career the popular striker starred for the likes of Brighton, Macclesfield, Mansfield and Hartlepool.
He became a firm favourite during his first spell with the Club when he netted a last minute winner against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in 2002, before going to be integral in the Millers maintaining their position in the second tier against the odds.
Barker admitted that he had paid the club’s former home a brief visit upon arriving back in Rotherham, but was quick to add that he has been very impressed with AESSEAL New York Stadium since the club moved into their new ground in 2012.
“I came up a couple of days ago and went across to and drove past Millmoor,” he explained.
“It's great that it's still there because I think we had some good memories there and it's a part of the club but like everything in football it moves on.
“This is a fantastic stadium, a fantastic facility and a great place to come to work. Certainly, in terms of what the Chairman has built and the foresight that he had when he took over, it's an amazing facility.
“Hopefully at some point we can keep sustaining that Championship football once we get there, that this stadium deserves.”
His playing career ended after his second spell with the Club, but he has since coached and managed at Bury, before taking the top job at the likes of Crawley Town and Portsmouth.
In recent years he has worked as assistant manager to Karl Robinson at Milton Keynes Dons and Charlton but admits he has been impressed with what he has seen from Rotherham United both prior to and after observing training this week.
“Certainly in terms of a mentality and work ethic, I've been very impressed,” Barked added.
“I think it would have been quite easy for them to down tools six weeks ago, but they haven't done that. I've been impressed with the results and the games I've watched on the DVDs and impressed with the training sessions I've seen so far."