Academy Manager Richard Hairyes has heaped praise on his most recent graduate from the youth setup following the news that Jacob Gratton has signed his first professional contract at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Hairyes was quick to hail the Rotherham-raised 18-year-old’s attitude to life both on and off the pitch during his years in the Academy system and believes the contract which he has signed is a fitting reward for all of his efforts since joining the club as a young boy.
“There have been occasions where we have had to tell him to come off the training ground or out of the gym, such is his commitment to his development,” he revealed.
“As well as being a superb example for any young footballer in his attitude towards both on and off the pitch matters, he is a Rotherham lad who loves this club and is actually a season ticket holder.
“If every player in Academy football had his attitude, we would be seeing more and more lads come through the system.
“Gratts has been here since he was 9-years-old and is a lad that we have always predicted would do well in the game.”
Gratton still has time to run on his scholarship with Rotherham United but Hairyes continued to explain that both himself and the first team staff felt that now was the right stage to offer him renewed terms.
“We know that it is early to offer him a deal with time still left on his scholarship agreement but we feel his efforts are more than deserving of the contract, which is a fitting reward for all of his hard work to date.
“He lives and breathes Rotherham United and you can see how much it means to him every time he pulls on the shirt, puts on his boots or goes out into the community as a representative of the club.”