Barker junior’s glowing reference

Barker junior’s glowing reference

By David Beddows | 09/06/2022

Barker junior’s glowing reference

 

ROTHERHAM United had inside information on Conor Washington before deciding to make the striker their first signing of the summer.

The promoted Millers swooped for the Northern Ireland international a fortnight ago after the expiry of his deal at Charlton Athletic and brought him to AESSEAL New York Stadium.

When they were doing their homework on the 30-year-old ahead of next season's Championship campaign they had to look no further than the son of assistant manager Richie Barker.

Charlie Barker is a teenage centre-half with the League One Addicks and gave his former teammate a glowing reference.

“Charlie was in the first-team squad with Conor for a time and obviously came across him a lot around the building at Charlton,” Barker Senior said.

“When I asked Charlie about him, he just said: 'Look, you'll have no problems with him, Dad. He will fit in a treat with the way you lot work and train.'”

The Millers went for the Kent-born forward because of his Championship experience with Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United and his reputation for always putting in 100-per-cent effort.

“We're really pleased to get him,” Barker said. “He's a 'Rotherham' player: a really good character, a good person with a very good work ethic.

“He's played at a good level. He's another international for us. He will buy into how hard we work and our mantra of the team coming first.”

Washington, who has been part of the Irish set-up since 2016 and is closing in on 40 caps, is on international duty for his country's four-match Nations League June programme.

Ireland have played against Greece and Cyprus in the last week and are in action in Kosovo tonight before Sunday's home clash with Cyprus.

Rotherham hadn't been expecting to do any business until much closer to the start of pre-season towards the end of this month.

However, negotiations with the Kent-born player went so well that the move was concluded within a matter of days.

“It was just one of those uncomplicated deals,” Barker said. “Conor became available, we were looking for someone in that position and he wanted to play in the Championship.

“It was all pretty straightforward, which isn't often the case. You rarely get a player committing to another club before the end of May.”