As Rotherham’s preparations for the new season go serenely, memories of last year’s shambles continue to serve as a timely reminder of just how well planning has gone this time around.
Twelve months ago the Millers reached what they thought was going to be the nadir of their chaotic groundwork for the 2016-17 campaign when they embarrassingly had to cancel a pre-season friendly with Grimsby due to lack of numbers.
Only one signing was through the door and a significant number of those who were already at the club got injured during their ill-fated tour of Poland. It left the Millers red-faced and the Mariners seething.
Now one year on, Paul Warne will on Tuesday send two squads to play simultaneous friendlies with non-league outfits Alfreton and Gainsborough.
Although the playing group supplemented by youth players, the fact that Warne feels it feasible to split his squad in two further showcases just how content he is with the state of his squad.
With seven signings already integrated in, Warne has his group in place – barring a couple of late additions – and has at least two players competing for every position.
They return to action just 48 hours after landing home from their week-long tour of Austria, which has been heralded as a major success.
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) July 14, 2017
The Millers won both of their games out in the Alps, which they pounded hard in a gruelling regime which contained morning hill runs, while Warne made use of having no distractions by drilling his message into his squad during evening team meetings.
Warne and coach Matt Hamshaw will take the team that travels to Gainsborough while Richie Barker and Mike Pollitt will be in charge at Alfreton.
The combinations of who plays where could give some clues as to Warne’s thinking, but it won’t be until Friday night’s clash with Sheffield United where we get our first inkling of whether the flawless summer planning can translate into success on the pitch.