Paul Warne talks to iFollow Millers...
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne has backed new signing Shaun MacDonald to become a hit with the AESSEAL New York Stadium faithful, after the club announced the capture of the 30-year-old midfielder on a two-year deal.
Warne has been a long-term admirer of MacDonald’s talents, revealing that he has regularly suggested the name of his one-time Yeovil Town teammate to previous incumbents of the Millers hotseat, before pursuing MacDonald’s signature himself upon his own appointment.
The former Swansea City and Wigan Athletic operator joins with a wealth more experience than when Warne first encountered him as a youngster whilst on loan at Yeovil Town, and the Millers boss is confident that his skillset can see him become a favourite in a red and white shirt.
“We can't forget the halcyon days of Yeovil, where we met. He was 17 and I was 42, still playing,” Warne joked whilst introducing his new signing to iFollow Millers.
“Ever since then really, every manager that we've had at the club, I've tried to convince, or rather, encouraged to try and sign him.
“The way his career has gone is excellent in fairness. Every manager has tried to enquire about him and get him and even myself, last summer and this January window I was desperate to try and get him, but unfortunately it got quashed at the end through no fault of our own.”
“I think he'll add no end to this team and I know the fans will really like him because he does have energy, he can control games of football and the way we play with our midfielders here, he'll have a licence to go where he likes within reason.”
A painful afternoon for all of a Millers persuasion was a much more notable day for the club’s new signing, when Rotherham United faced off with AFC Bournemouth at AESSEAL New York Stadium in the FA Cup back in January 2015, in a game that saw the Cherries ease through to the next round after a 5-1 triumph.
Warne watched on from his role as fitness coach that day, as MacDonald turned in an all-action performance in midfield, opening the scoring for his side.
The Millers boss continued to add that he expects more of the same from his new signing, who he believes fits right in with the club’s philosophies.
“I think he'll really enjoy playing with a freedom here and he will chip in with goals,” Warne explained.
“He's very athletic, he travels with the ball very easily and if I ask him to play in any position over eleven, he'd play it. I think he's got the professionalism that I love in players. I think he will be great in training, great in the dressing room and great on a matchday.
“I think from my point of view, I've brought him here because I think he's a great bloke and as you well know, with all my signings I only sign really good people. He is definitely that.
“Fundamentally, you want to enjoy your career and enjoy your life and they are the people that I want to spend time with.
“The next 10 months, we'll live in each other's pockets and I only want to be with people that I really like.
“I'm buzzing that he's come. He comes with his missus and his daughter and I'll obviously have the family BBQ so they can meet everyone.”
Warne concluded by adding his relief that his pursuit of MacDonald had finally borne fruit and hopes this deal will be considered a statement of intent for any potential recruits looking in from the outside.
“I know fans will watch the interview and Google him and all that malarkey, but it's a brilliant signing for us and it will definitely boost the squad and the team.
“I even think it will help me sign other players because I think it's a signing people will sit up and think 'wow, they've done well to get him there'.
“It has taken a lot of texting and picture messages, but we've got there. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him to the club and hopefully, it is as good as I think it will be.”