Richie Barker talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker says that work has not relented for the club's coaching staff despite the end of the 2016/17 season, with work continuing around the clock to bring summer targets to AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Despite the Millers’ season finishing on 7th May, the efforts behind the scenes to step up the club’s recruitment drive for the close season have been ongoing, with meetings taking place on a daily basis as Paul Warne looks to shape his squad for the 2017/18 League One season.
With first team boss Warne away on a coaching course in Northern Ireland, Barker has been a regular face at the club’s stadium, with the club looking to add names to the arrivals list following the signing of Michael Ihiekwe yesterday.
“I say it very rarely stops, but it hasn't stopped at all,” Barker told www.themillers.co.uk.
“Paul went away on Monday morning on his course for two weeks, so myself, Matt Hamshaw and Mike Pollitt have all been in with the recruitment guys and we're speaking on the phone pretty much hourly really.
We've still got a lot to do and plenty of conversations and meetings to have and we'll keep doing that. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks things will start moving on and we'll start seeing people coming through the door.
With EFL Play-off games still set to take place this weekend, the 2016/17 season hasn’t officially reached it’s conclusion and Barker admits that any business done at this stage of the summer could be considered early and explains that he doesn’t expect movement in the market to step up until next month at the earliest.
“It is [early] and I think players now are prepared to wait a little bit longer,” Barker continued.
“If you look at all the sports channels and media outlets that are out there, I haven't seen too many signings been made yet.
“I think everybody is in the same boat and everybody has a strict budget to work to, so everybody is making sure they fall within that budget, which means that at times you may have to turn people down.
“Obviously players are wanting to keep their options open and we are literally only three weeks from the end of the season and we've still got a month until we come back. I usually don't think it starts hotting up until the first week in June.
“We've spoken to a couple of players and it goes straight to international dialling tones, so they're on holiday and they're happy to go and do that and give us answers when they come back.”