Richie Barker talks to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United assistant manager Richie Barker says that the three young professionals that have joined the club on their pre-season tour of Austria have impressed the first team staff.
Joshua Kayode, Akeem Hinds and Reece McGinley all graduated from the Millers’ Academy last season to sign their first professional deals at AESSEAL New York Stadium and have been a part of the contingent that have travelled to Lindabrunn for the rigorous pre-season testing.
Whilst Barker and boss Paul Warne have both been pleased with the efforts of the squad as a whole, the Millers’ assistant boss took time to praise the young trio, who have done their chances of breaking into the senior setup no harm.
“We haven't just taken them on as a token gesture, we've taken them on because we think they have an opportunity to one day play in the first team and who knows when that will be,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“That's the whole point in us taking them on. We're not trying to rush them but the idea of giving them the opportunity of a professional deal is for them to try and get into the first team.
“They have come back in good condition and they've completed every session as well.”
All three were involved in the pre-season opener at Parkgate, where many Millers fans got a first look at the youngsters’ talents and Barker is keen to ensure they continue to develop and make the transition between the Academy structure and the senior side.
“Myself and Hammy have worked in Academy football but we're all of the opinion that if they're good enough, they're old enough,” he continued.
“The Academy and the first team have the closest relationship it's probably ever had and we work really closely with them and we're constantly monitoring what they're doing in Budapest and giving them feedback on the young pros.
“They need to be experiencing men's football but we'll be trying to do that in the quickest way possible, whether that's out on loan or staying with us, but for the time being I'm sure that they'll benefit from this week.”