Rotherham United: Home-grown Jerry Yates set for Millers opportunity

Jerry Yates
Jerry Yates
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New boss Alan Stubbs is ready to hand young striker Jerry Yates the chance to show what he can do in a Rotherham United first-team shirt.

The 19-year-old forward has long been regarded as a hot prospect as he’s progressed through the Millers’ youth ranks.

Jerry Yates on loan at Harrogate last season

Jerry Yates on loan at Harrogate last season

And Stubbs, who met his players only three weeks ago, has already seen enough to think Yates can make his mark in the Championship.

“Jerry has been excellent in pre-season,” he told the Star. “I’m very pleased with how he’s trained and with his contribution in games.

“He’s with the first-team group now with me and will be given his opportunity.

“He’s done all the training and performed in the matches and he’s not looked out of place with the senior players. That’s the biggest compliment I can pay him.”

Jake Forster-Caskey with Millers boss Alan Stubbs

Jake Forster-Caskey with Millers boss Alan Stubbs

Steve Evans handed the teenager his debut in Rotherham’s first season back in the second tier, sending him on as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City on April 3 2015.

The youngster didn’t feature at all last season under Evans, Neil Redfearn or Neil Warnock, although he impressed in a loan spell with non-league Harrogate Town.

Redfearn rated him and thought a spell in the National League North would help his “toughening up”, and Yates duly scored goals at that level.

Stubbs revealed that he is waiting for calls from four Premier League sides as he looks to step up his recruitment before August 6 opening day, and he says contact has been made with several other clubs.

“We need to get more bodies in,” he said. “We’re literally just waiting for for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We have to be patient and make sure we get the right people but, at the same time, we’re aware of the timescale.

“There will be more arrivals before the start of the season and after, as the window runs until the end of August.”

He appeared to rule out a renewed effort for striker Lee Gregory, the subject of a £1.4 million Millers bid which was rejected last week by Millwall.

“We’ve moved on,” he said.

Rotherham were beaten 3-1 in a friendly at Premier League Spurs yesterday, although they were leading 1-0 through Danny Ward against a side containing several first-teamers before Stubbs started making changes.

“It was a good test for us,” the manager said. “We got out of the game what we wanted in terms of fitness and it was a great experience for our players.

“Most of them played for around 50 minutes, although some went for a little bit longer. It’s great to forge ties with clubs like this. That can only be of benefit to us and to Spurs.”

New signing midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey, brought in on a season-long loan from Brighton, played for 40 minutes in his first real competitive action of pre-season.

Stubbs confirmed that all the trialists have now left the club.

Goalkeeper Chris Konopka, right-back Guilluame Francois and midfielders Sessi D’Almeidi and Benedikt Saller had been hoping to earn Millers deals, while midfielder Ryan Taylor departed for Wigan after just one 45-minute outing, against Parkgate FC on May 9.

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