Every player who played for Rotherham this season rated

Rotherham’s brilliant season ended in the best possible way with Wembley glory as they won promotion in the League One play-off final.

It was the culmination of a long and gruelling campaign, where Paul Warne’s squad was put to the test throughout.

 

Thirty-two players pulled on the red and white jersey over the course of the season and here’s how they all rated.

Marek Rodak

The Fulham loanee took a while to make the number one shirt his own, but once the defence got used to his maverick ways, he evolved into a solid goalkeeper, who commanded his area well.

Rating: 4/5

Richard O’Donnell

Started off the season as Paul Warne’s first choice, but never convinced the boss, despite some impressive performances. Left the club in January in search of regular football at Northampton.

Rating: 2/5

 

Lewis Price

Never really in contention for a starting berth, Price was limited to just two appearances this season, though let no one down in either.

Rating: 1/5

Josh Emmanuel

Arrived from Ipswich with a big reputation and initially left us wondering what the fuss was about. Defensive frailties remained but Emmanuel showcased just what an impressive attacking full-back he is with a strong second half of the campaign.

Rating: 4/5

Shaun Cummings

An August signing to cover for Emmanuel, Cummings had a good run in the side before Christmas, but his omission from the side coincided with a season-defining run of form. Did not feature after March.

Rating: 1/5

Semi Ajayi

Billed as a future £10million player, some early-season mistakes proved costly and Ajayi was dumped from the team. He came back in for the second half and showed his ability, with some dominating performances and goalscoring threat at the other end.

Rating: 3/5

Richard Wood

Written off so many times, he did not start as Warne’s first-choice defender and he was almost allowed to leave in January, but boy did he turn it around. A brilliant late season run of form guided the Millers to the play-offs where he won it with his Wembley heroics.

Rating: 4/5

Michael Ihikewe

Ihikewe initially looked Rotherham’s most reliable defender, but lost his place before Christmas. He came back into the side towards the end of the campaign, doing well, and took part in the play-off semi-finals, though had a time to forget against Scunthorpe.

Rating: 3/5

Emmanuel Onariase

Tipped as a signing for the future, Onariase only got a look-in in the cup competitions. He was allowed to join Cheltenham on loan in January.

Rating: 1/5

Joe Mattock

One of the most under-rated players of the season, Mattock had a consistent year throughout and was Warne’s first-choice left-back. He was a good attacking threat down the left and formed a good partnership with Joe Newell.

Rating: 4/5

Ben Purrington

Things looked bleak for Purrington when Ihiekwe was chosen at left-back in front of him, but he bounced back and enjoyed a good spell in the side when Mattock was out injured. He would have preferred more game time than he got, though.

Rating: 2/5

Akeem Hinds

Given a run-out in the Checkatrade Trophy, the youngster looked a prospect but never had a chance of league action.

Rating: 2/5

Dominic Ball

Frozen out last season under Warne and unable to win him over this time around, Ball made two unmemorable cup-competition appearances before being sent out on loan.

Rating: 0/5

Ryan Williams

A contender for Warne’s signing of the season, the winger was a constant key player throughout, making an impact on both wings. He contributed goals and assists and his work-rate helped the team out no end.

Rating: 4/5

Lee Frecklington

A club legend, Frecklington was surprisingly allowed to leave in January despite still being an important player. He did not quite have the zip of years gone by but was still having an impact, none more than his brilliant hat-trick against Walsall.

Rating: 3/5

Will Vaulks

Bouncing back after a tough first year at the club, Vaulks made himself undroppable in the middle of the park with some fine performances. Battling until the end, he also scored several wonder goals and his versatility allowed the Millers to change shape, being able to slot in at centre-back and right-back. Nobody played more games than him.

Rating: 5/5

Richie Towell

Towell arrived from Brighton on deadline day in the summer and it proved to be an important piece of business. The midfielder’s energy in midfield was vital, as was his quality on the ball. He also scored the club’s goal of the season with a fine effort at Northampton.

Rating: 5/5

Joe Newell

It looked like being a frustrating season for Newell, who proved to be a bit of an enigma in the opening few weeks. He found some consistency, though, and showcased just what a talented player he is with some matchwinning performances.

Rating: 4/5

Jon Taylor

Had his season disrupted by an injury and was never able to get a consistent run of games. He knows where the net is and his energy and pace were a constant worry for opposition defences.

Rating: 3/5

Anthony Forde

Without seeing the stats, it’s a fair assumption that nobody will have worked harder for the cause than Forde, who put in some real shifts on both flanks for the team. He added plenty of assists and was an important member of the team who went 16 games unbeaten.

Rating: 3/5

Ben Wiles

Big things are expected of Wiles and he impressed on his limited outings in the cup competitions. Will be one for the future and being around this group of players can only help him.

Rating: 1/5

Darren Potter

The biggest compliment that can be paid to Potter is that his performances in the first part of the season meant that Richie Smallwood’s departure was not noticed. He picked up a season-ending injury in December, though a change of shape meant his absence was not felt too hard.

Rating: 3/5

Alex Bray

Restricted to just three appearances in the minor competitions, Bray has not developed in the way Warne would have hoped and he was allowed to join Forest Green Rovers on loan in January.

Rating: 1/5

Matt Palmer

Joined the club for a sizeable fee in January and showed his talent, with a good passing range and calmness on the ball. Became an important player in the run-in.

Rating: 3/5

Reece McGinley

Played nine minutes in the Checkatrade Trophy at Bradord.

Rating: 1/5

Caolan Lavery

A January arrival from Sheffield United, Lavery added some competition in attack. He made just one start, though, and scored two goals off the bench.

Rating: 2/5

Kieffer Moore

Who knows how things might have panned out if Moore had ended up with the Millers on a permanent basis, but his pre-Christmas loan spell was simply stunning. The Ipswich striker scored 13 goals in 22 league appearances and was the talk of League One.

Rating: 4/5

David Ball

Arrived as the marquee signing but had a slow start to the campaign. He came good with at the turn of the year, playing an important part in the long unbeaten run.

Rating: 3/5

Jamie Proctor

Proctor looked set to be the key man for the Millers after a brilliant pre-season and superb opening to the campaign, which was ultimately cut short by injury in August.

Rating: 2/5

Michael Smith

Smith was ridiculed on his January arrival by Bury fans but his impact at Rotherham cannot be understated. Although he was not as prolific as Moore, his work-rate and hold-up play was simply superb and allowed the Millers to set up in a certain style. Another contender for signing of the season.

Rating: 5/5

Jonson Clarke-Harris

Never really fancied by Warne, Clarke-Harris was unable to change his manager’s mind and was only a bit-part player, albeit making some impressive cameos off the bench, when he was allowed to join Coventry on loan in January.

Rating: 2/5

Jerry Yates

Credited with helping to change the course of the season after his introduction at Blackpool, this has been another season where Yates has failed to really establish himself. A popular member of the squad, but barely featured after Christmas.

Rating: 2/5

Joshua Kayode

His 16 minutes at Bradford in the Checkatrade Trophy will not live long in the memory.

Rating: 1/5

 

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