Rotherham United: Millers’ long-term Championship plan

Steve Evans and Tony Stewart
Steve Evans and Tony Stewart
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Rotherham United have been planning for Championship football for more than six months, manager Steve Evans has revealed.

The Millers secured their place in the second tier of English football only in May by winning the League One Play-off Final at Wembley.

But Evans and owner Tony Stewart had been plotting their recruitment strategy together since the turn of the year.

“It began just after Christmas when I had a meeting with the chairman and told him that I thought we were good enough to go up,” Evans told The Star.

“From that point on, we were looking for players who we knew could perform at Championship level.”

Evans has brought in 11 new players as well as tying right-back Mark Bradley and centre-half Kari Arnason to new deals.

“What we want to do is create competition, to have a squad where every player is capable of contributing,” he added.

“Our recruitment has been very balanced and has been a long time in the planning.”

One of the new boys, right-winger Febian Brandy looked forward to the new season, saying: “The Championship is a good level and if you do well there you never know what can happen.

“I still think I’ve got some unfinished business in football and I’m hoping I can address that and help Rotherham.

“I’d like to think I’m an exciting player with pace and trickery in the final third.

“Football’s a team game, though, and if I’m doing tricks and the team aren’t winning it doesn’t really work, so the ideal scenario would be for us to be getting good results and allowing me to express myself in the right areas.”

Meanwhile, Rotherham’s pre-season game against Stocksbridge Park Steels has been brought forward 24 hours as Evans looks to split his first team across two games in one evening.

The game with Steels will now take place on Tuesday July 29 (kick-off 7.30pm) at the same time as they also play Alfreton.

The club’s first friendly since returning to training is this Saturday at Greenock Morton (KO 3pm).