Millers boss Steve Evans walked out at Wembley knowing that his side would have to win if he was to land his man.
Evans had been in talks with Matt Derbyshire but knew the much-travelled striker who had played Premier League football and starred in a cup final wouldn’t be keen on stepping down to League One.
“We had been speaking to his representatives,” the United manager revealed.
“We knew for a fact that this deal would only become a possibility if we were playing Championship football, but the discussions continued.”
Happily, the Millers triumphed in a penalty shoot-out in the League One Play-off Final against Leyton Orient and hitman Derbyshire duly signed the following week.
Evans added: “His representatives were very thorough, as was Matt himself, which we found extremely professional.
“My conversations to him were all about our style of play, our training and preparation, and his answers just told me what a good professional he was.
“I also took counsel from three of his former managers and each one of them said sign him up. It looks like a brilliant signing for Rotherham United. Only time will tell if that proves to be the case.”
Derbyshire, aged 28, has an impressive pedigree, having first sprung to prominence in 2006 at top-flight Blackburn Rovers.
In 2009 he moved on loan to Olympiacos and had a major impact on the Greek Cup Final, which earned him a £3 million move there
Derbyshire was brought on at half-time and scored within thee minutes and then, as his team trailed 3-2, added a last-minute equaliser. Olympiacos eventually won 15-14 on penalties.
Evans said: “He’s quick, strong and a clever player with good movement.
“He has the capability of getting goals from anywhere.
“He’s certainly not to be discounted from getting the Alex-Revell-type of goal like we saw at Wembley, but he’ll also be in the positions to get simple tap-ins.
After a spell on loan at Birmingham City, the former England Under-21 frontman joined Nottingham Forest and had loan spells at at Oldham Athletic and Blackburn Rovers. He finished last season in Forest’s first team, scoring five goals in the last five games, but was then released.
Evans added: “He’s a goalscorer, but he also comes with that real work ethic that in the last couple of seasons Rotherham United have become famous for.”