Rotherham United: Big training-ground upgrade as Millers turn away from Bawtry Road, and a top-five budget for next year

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
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Rotherham United are to push ahead with a major revamp of their training HQ in time for next season.

The Millers are redeveloping their base at Parkgate, ending speculation that they could move their operation to land on Bawtry Road at Brinsworth.

Work will start shortly on a large structure to bring gym, physiotherapy, dining and changing facilities into a single building, says chairman Tony Stewart.

“The investment is going in now. It will make a big difference,” he told The Star.

“We’re building a big infrastructure there. It’s happening in the next weeks and months and we’re hoping to have that ready for August and the start of next season.

“The commitment to the training base is now at Parkgate, not Bawtry Road.”

Rotherham, who yesterday appointed Paul Warne as permanent manager, will play in League One next year after their relegation from the Championship.

The facilities at their Parkgate base, which the the Millers lease from Tata Steel, have come in for criticism, but Stewart hit back: “That training ground ... Steve Evans (former manager) never mentioned the training ground, but we managed to get into League One and then the Championship with it.

“We decided to go with Parkgate and stay where we are. We had to get things legally tied up up. We’ve done that and now we have made the commitment to put the investment in to create a new environment.”

Warne, whose side travel to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, welcomed the improvements.

“The idea is to put a big structure in at the training ground which enables everything to be under one roof,” he said.

“At the moment, the lads have to bounce around a few different venues. The gyms are off site. We eat at the stadium. Having everyone under one roof makes it a much better training environment, for sure.

“I’m not saying we’ll start making Messis and Suarezs out of it, but it does help you to get your message across and adds to the professionalism of the club.

“I understand why it’s not been done before. In recent years, we came up the leagues so quick and the resources, possibly, were administered to the pitch. That lasts for only so long and I think the club needs to reassess itself.”

Meanwhile, Stewart has pledged to back Warne as Rotherham look to fight back from the drop after three seasons in the second tier.

“The budgets will be generous, like they were under Steve Evans,” the chairman said. “It will be one of the top five budgets. I can say that openly and proudly.

“What do we expect from the manager next year? We expect more wins. We expect to be up there at the top. That’s whats the fans expect, the customers, and we have to give the customers what they want.

“We have a new head of recruitment, an assistant to him and a nest of scouts. It feels more organised. We now have the right calibre of professional people working forensically to get the right players into Rotherham and not some of the rejects we’ve had over the last four years.”

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