As Rotherham United’s players toil in the sun during their first week of pre-season training, manager Steve Evans is working just as hard on the club’s recruitment.
The Millers’ return from their summer lay-off has coincided with the hottest week of the year, with fitness coach Paul Warne putting the squad through their paces in temperatures approaching 30 degrees centigrade.
“We’ll be easing them in gently over the next week or so as we begin our preparations for the upcoming campaign,” Evans said.
“We’ll be equally busy off the field as we continue to add to the squad ahead of another season in the Championship.”
Aidy White, Joe Mattock and Lewis Buxton have already joined the club, and the Millers hope to have more new faces in place this week.
They have been linked with moves for right winger Emmanuel Ledesma and right-back James Tavernier, both of whom have had successful loan spells at AESSEAL New York Stadium in the past. Ledesma is a free agent after leaving Middlesbrough, while Tavernier is at League One Wigan Athletic.
Yesterday was the players’ first day back, although they have had summer programmes to follow to ensure they return in good condition.
Speaking ahead of pre-season, Evans said: “It is not just about the players and what happens to them in a season. We have to prepare them right.
“They are back in on June 30 and they all got their programmes and regular days to check in with Paul Warne and (assistant manager) Paul Raynor.
“I have no tolerance levels for people not coming back ready. They have got enough time to have a good break with their families and loved ones, whatever it takes.
“Footballers get no excuses anymore not to come back in good shape, whether you be at Chelsea or Rotherham United.”
Meanwhile, Kari Arnason is looking forward to a gentler type of game now he’s left Rotherham for Swedish giants Malmo FF.
“The style of play in Sweden is not as high paced,” said the 32-year-old who played in the country before helping the Millers climb from League Two and survive in the Championship.
“It’s more technical and there’s more reading of the game, which is great as you’re getting older. Balls are played to feet more.
“It’s better than getting bashed about by the likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa and Alex Revell!”
Millers defender Danny Rowe, aged 19, has signed a three-year deal with Wycombe who have agreed a compensation package.
Rotherham will play Premier League Leicester City in a friendly at New York on Wednesday July 29, 7.45pm.