Sheffield United: Millers want to be a class act

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Chief operating office Paul Douglas last night revealed Rotherham United are determined to become a club of substance as well as style.

Douglas issued the pledge after manager Steve Evans and midfielder Michael O’Connor were nominated for the League Two manager and player of the month awards following their roles in helping the club clinch automatic promotion.

Citing New York Stadium, which opened its doors nearly a year ago as a driving force behind the team’s transformation, Douglas said: “The recent history of our club has been boom and bust but we are taking steps to mitigate against that now.

“We have a wonderful facility of which we can all be proud and give the supporters a level of service they can be proud of too.

“We want to keep moving forward and we are confident we can do that.

“But you have to be realistic and say that clubs are never always going to be on an upward trajectory and that there will always be difficult times.

“So that’s why we are making hay now, as it were, by putting structures in place which should enable us to grow.”

“We are doing a lot of hard work with the academy and we’re hopeful, confident in fact, that can become one of the very best in the country and the level we are playing at,” Douglas added.

“We also work hard to give the people who come and watch us a level of service that they can be proud of too.

“We’ve got a wonderful community section here which is doing some excellent work and it’s all part of our work to make people feel proud of us and get the right structures in place behind the scenes.

“We want people to say that Rotherham are a class act off the pitch as well as on it.”

United, who yesterday announced their season ticket prices for the forthcoming League One campaign, have recruited eight first year scholars to their youth programme.

One of those, Jake Fenton, was previously with Newcastle.

Luke Beedham, Laurence McKay, Dominic Hart, Giorgio Williams, John Travis and Phil Woods have come to the end of their scholarships and been released.

“Phil, Dominic and Laurence have been offered scholarships to play in America, so they now have the opportunity to play abroad,” Tony Mee, United’s head of academy coaching, said. “Everyone in the youth department would like to wish all the lads the best.”