Richie Barker talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
It was the defender’s experience that was a key reason behind the decision to keep Richard Wood at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Wood became the latest name to commit himself to the Millers, extending his stay in South Yorkshire after agreeing a deal until 2018.
Following the arrival last season of Semi Ajayi and latest addition Michael Ihiekwe, Wood will be one of the elder statesmen looking to guide some of the less experienced names in Paul Warne’s ranks.
Speaking to www.themillers.co.uk, assistant manager Richie Barker admitted he was delighted to keep the ex-Sheffield Wednesday operator, admitting he is the perfect example to follow for any up and coming defender.
“It was a conversation myself and Warney were having right from day one about where we saw Richard,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I think he'll have a big impact on the younger players.
“If you just have young, hungry players, who don't have the knowledge of how to be successful then sometimes you can be a little bit naive.
“There'll be games I'm sure where we'll maybe be hanging on to a narrow 1-0, or a 2-1 and people like Richard Wood, that's where the experience and success that he's had before is where he will come into his own.”
Wood, who joined the Millers from Charlton Athletic in 2014, will be looking to establish himself in Warne’s plans for the new season, having been a regular in last year’s Sky Bet Championship campaign.
He played 31 times last season, but with competition set to be fierce, Barker expects a good battle for a starting jersey.
“I think he's certainly one of those players that enjoys proving people wrong and I'm sure he's probably been written off here a couple of times, and he ended up finishing the season in the Championship,” Barker explained.
“I'm sure he'll come back determined and wanting to play every week and he's the sort of player, whose experience and attitude around the place on a daily basis, is invaluable.
“Obviously we want him out on the pitch, but he's a good character and a good leader. He will bring plenty to the dressing room, not just on the pitch, that was another reason we wanted to keep him.”