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READ | Hairyes heaps praise on retiring Academy coach Steve Sykes after 20 years of service

17 March 2021

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Rotherham United would like to thank long-serving Academy coach Steve Sykes for his tremendous commitment to our youth setup over the past 20 years, following Steve's decision to hang up his coaching boots.

People throughout Rotherham and beyond will know of Steve as a result of the countless players he has coached and parents he has met, whilst playing an integral part in blooding youngsters on their journey through the club’s youth system.

There have been many ‘success stories’ during Steve’s years with the club - not all of whom have necessarily enjoyed success in football or at our club - of individuals who have been able to thrive in an environment in which he has taught important lessons both on the pitch and off it.

Current first team players Ben Wiles and Jake Cooper both spent time under Steve’s watchful eye in their formative years, as did Jerry Yates, who graduated to senior level before moving the Blackpool recently.

Academy Manager Richard Hairyes, who has worked closely with Steve for a number of years - both in his current role and previously – heaped praise on his outgoing coach for his immense contribution to football at Rotherham United and to football in the local area.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank Steve for his fantastic commitment to the football club,” he told

“Steve is not just a brilliant coach but also an outstanding individual who will be sorely missed by both players and staff alike in the Academy."

Richard Hairyes on Steve Sykes

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve for the past five years and have seen many players come through his teams, more mature as footballers and as people.

“We are incredibly proud of the culture we have managed to create within the club’s youth system in recent years and Steve has played a massive part in help to shape that on a daily basis.

“I know I speak on behalf of everyone at the club when I say that I hope Steve enjoys a very happy and healthy retirement. I am sure he will stay in touch and keep an eye on the progress of the lads he has played a part in developing from afar.”

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