Rotherham United's stance as Grant Ward considers Millers return

Rotherham United's stance as Grant Ward considers Millers return

By Paul Davis | 07/07/2019

Rotherham United's stance as Grant Ward considers Millers return
Grant Ward

ROTHERHAM United will stand firm as old boy Grant Ward ponders whether to return to AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The League One Millers have made a contract offer to the winger, still recovering from cruciate keen ligament injury suffered last December, and he has gone on holiday to consider it.

Manager Paul Warne says Rotherham won't be upping the package they have put on the table for Ward who is a free agent following his release by Ipswich Town after three years at Portman Road.

"We offered him a good deal. His agent agreed it was a good deal," the boss said.

"Whether he has other options better than ours, I don't know. I'll speak to him when he gets back from holiday and we'll see where we're at.

"I've gone as far as I can with Grant. If we can do it, great. If not, that's how it is."

Ward was a key man in the Millers' 2015/16 Championship survival when he spent a season on loan from Spurs at New York before he was signed by Ipswich.

The 24-year-old is expected to be ready to play again in September or October.

Warne, preparing to take his squad to Germany this evening for a week of pre-season conditioning and bonding, understands Ward's desire to get away after a long spell of lone rehabilitation.

However, he will walk away and look elsewhere rather than be kept waiting for too long.

"Grant has just spent the last seven months in a physio room training," the manager said. "He wanted to go away on a holiday and I think he thought that if he signed for me last week I would probably have taken him to Germany.

"Whether I'm right or wrong for doing it this way, I have soft approach to recruitment in that the players I am trying to sign have to jump through a lot of hoops but I don't have their arm behind their back begging them to come.

"I want only people who are determined to be here."

The Millers' offer is likely to be an incentivised one, with Ward's wages increasing after he has proved his fitness and played a certain number of games.

Rotherham's pre-season trips abroad have become infamous for how much work the players are subjected to.

The Millers have switched the destination this year to Barsinghausen, near Hanover, after 2017 and 2018 camps in Austria where 7am hill running heralded the start of each day.

"It should be good," Warne said. "It's a different group, with some players leaving and some coming in, but already they're pretty close.

"We'll work them pretty hard. It's as much about them bonding as it is getting fit. We've done some good fitness work already and they'll have four or five sessions a day in Germany.

"I think Germany is a bit flatter than Austria so we're going to have to mix things up somehow. We get there late Monday night and they will be running first thing Tuesday morning.

"It's nice to spend that amount of time with them. I say it all the time, they're good human beings.

"We'll have different meetings and do some things with them. When we come back, hopefully we will have a clearer idea of how we're going to play next season."