Rotherham United manager Steve Evans has revealed he had been tracking new boy Mat Sadler for more than two years.
The 29-year-old defender has joined the Millers on one-year-deal and Evans said: “He is a player who was on my list of targets when I was at Crawley.
“He went there after I left and had two fantastic seasons with them.”
Left-back Sadler, a free agent, played in the Premier League and Championship with Birmingham before joining Championship Watford in a deal worth almost £1 million depending on appearances.
Evans, who has led the Millers into The Championship after winning back-to-back promotions, was attracted by Sadler’s higher-level pedigree.
“Once we knew he couldn’t agreed terms at Crawley, we stepped in,” the Millers boss said.
“It was an easy deal to do. He was very keen to join us.
He has the right attributes for our club. He has a good temperament and doesn’t get fazed.
“He had two outstanding games against us last season, and there weren’t too many players you could say that about.
“He’s got Championship experience with Watford, and he was absolute quality throughout his time at Crawley.”
“It will now be a battle between two very accomplished left-backs in him and Joe Skarz to see who plays.
“To be honest, I don’t care which one it is as long as they do a job for Rotherham United.”
The Capital One first round will see a clash of two promoted clubs as the Millers entertain League One Fleetwood Town. Both teams won promotion at Wembley in play-off finals last season.
The tie will be played at New York Stadium the week commencing August 11.