Millers’ problems on the field could be helped by rebuilding their youth programme

By William Wells

Rotherham United’s most recent result, a 1-0 home loss to Reading, was more than just a disappointing scoreline – the Millers’ squad featured no players from the academy or youth set-up.

With Rotherham bottom of the Championship, some fans say an injection of youth is needed. A Championship side with one of the smallest budgets in the league, supporters believe it is a surprise that the club ignore the importance of investing in young players and rarely produce first team starters.

Season ticket holder Joshua Salt said: “As far as I’m aware the reserves don’t even have a training ground. Jerry Yates is the only player I know to have come through the academy.”

Matthew Bullock, a season ticket holder at New York stadium, said: “We don’t even have an under-21 team. We have a reserve team so you’re either with the first team or they drop you.”

Exciting young striker Yates is one of the most exciting players produced by the Rotherham academy and broke into the first team towards the end of last season. The youngster may have been expecting a key role in this season’s relegation fight. But he has been loaned out to Harrogate to the frustration of fans and has been replaced by short term options Isasiah Brown on loan and Peter Odemwingie, whose contract is up in January.

The coach of the under-8s at Rotherham, Jack Pitchford, had a more optimistic view. He said: “The facilities here are top quality and the players have everything they need to succeed as a professional footballer.”

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