MANAGER Paul Warne wants Rotherham United's' annual pre-season friendly with Parkgate to stay on the club's calendar for good.
The two teams meet at Roundwood tonight (7pm) in front of a sold-out crowd, giving 'Gate a chance to test themselves against full-time pros and Millers fans to see their new signings in action for the first time.
Warne said: “Like the charity cricket match at Wickersley last weekend, it's a tradition I hope stays at this football club forever.
“I know Juventus have a similar tradition in Italy when they play a friendly in a village and have done so for many years.
“I like the fact our fans can see the new players at this fixture and it's a really nice start to the pre-season campaign.”
The match is the start of a busy period, with the coaching staff and players due to fly off for a week-long training camp in Croatia.
“It's a massive week for us," added Warne. "A week away sounds like a 'jolly up' but it's not.
“You have a captive audience. On a normal training day at 4 o'clock the players have gone. When you're away you have evening time with them to watch videos and talk about how we are going to play and what we expect of them as people.
“For a whole week you can get over all the principles as best you can and it allows the new lads to settle in."
Warne, meanwhile, continues to work towards bringing in more new signings to add to recent arrivals Conor Washington, Tom Eaves, Peter Kioso and Jamie McCart, ideally in time for the training camp.