Persistence pays off as Warne lands MacDonald

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne is delighted to have finally succeeded where a host of others have failed.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 11:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 5:57 pm
Shaun MacDonald and Paul Warne
Shaun MacDonald and Paul Warne

The Millers boss made Shaun MacDonald his first permanent signing of the summer earlier this week the midfielder put pen to paper on a two-year contract at the Millers.

Warne knows his new recruit well, having briefly been team-mates together at Yeovil Town a decade ago, when the Millers boss was at the tailend of his career and MacDonald was just starting out.

The Wales international has had a decent career, helping Bournemouth win promotion to the Premier League before an injury-hit three years at Wigan Athletic, where he has just been released.

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But since they shared a dressing room, Warne has implored former Millers managers to try and bring him to the club.

He even tried himself last summer and in the January transfer window, but failed on both occasions.

His persistence has eventually paid off and he will be part of the Millers squad that are looking to bounce back from Championship relegation.

“He was 17 and I was 42, still playing!” Warne joked of their time together at Yeovil.

“Ever since then, every manager we have had at the club I have encouraged them to sign them.

“Every manager has tried to enquire and get him, even myself last summer and in the January transfer window I tried to get him but unfortunately it got quashed right at the end, through no fault of our own.

“I am buzzing that he has come, he has come with his family.”

MacDonald barely featured for Wigan last season, playing in just two cup competitions, one of them against the Millers in August.

He was on the losing side, but has better memories of the AESSEAL New York Stadium from his first visit there with Bournemouth, where he scored in a 5-1 FA Cup win for the Cherries.

With the Millers releasing Darren Potter and Richie Towell opting to join League Two Salford, there are holes in the midfield which MacDonald can help plug.

There are also doubts whether Will Vaulks will be at the club next season as Championship clubs continue to circle around for him.

He becomes the second signing of the summer for the Millers, following Norwich loanee Carlton Morris through the door.