Rotherham United boss Matt Taylor's farewell words for Wes Harding

Wes HardingWes Harding
Wes Harding
The Millers man turned down a new contract.

A ROTHERHAM United squad lacking the name of Wes Harding was a rare thing during the versatile defender’s thee-year spell at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Manager Matt Taylor admits he would have loved the 26-year-old, who has left the club after rejecting a new deal, to have remained in South Yorkshire.

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Harding made 140 appearances in total and this term failed to make the matchday 18 only once as the Millers sealed their Championship safety.

“He went under the radar in terms of how durable he was and how his availability was such a big strength for such a long period of time,” said Taylor, who took the hot-seat in October.

“He was in fantastic form when I first came to the club, hence why there was a contract offer put to him.

“I liked him and I really enjoy working with him. I wanted to work with him for longer. He’s a great character and we’ll miss him.”

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Harding could play as a full-back, centre-half or wing-back and was a regular starter under the boss who signed him, Paul Warne, and then Taylor.

That changed around the turn of the year as club and player couldn’t come to a financial agreement over fresh terms. The former Birmingham City man found himself on the bench for a period before regaining his place for the last few matches of the run-in.

“Maybe there was a little bit of disruption in terms of the offer and him coming to the end of contract,” Taylor said. “He was chasing a bit of form in the latter part of the season.”

The free agent won’t be short of suitors after winning League One promotion and earning second-tier survival during his time with the Millers.

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“It’s a shame Wes has gone but we understand where he is in terms of his career and age,” Taylor said.

“He felt that whatever was out there was going to be a better option than ourselves. He goes with the club’s best wishes and my best wishes.”