Meet the opposition | Rotherham United
As Swansea City get set to open up their 2022-23 Championship campaign against Rotherham United, we take a closer look at the Millers.
What's their story?
Established in 1925 after the merger of disbanded teams Rotherham County and Rotherham Town, Rotherham United are back in the Championship after a third promotion to the second tier in the last five seasons.
Rotherham’s highest league finish came in the 1954-55 season, when they finished third in Division Two, narrowly missing out on promotion by goal difference.
The Millers are newly-promoted to the Championship after securing automatic promotion, finishing second behind Wigan in League One last term. They will hope to avoid suffering immediate relegation; a fate that has befallen them at the end of their previous two campaigns in the second tier.
Rotherham are also the current Football League Trophy holders. They came from behind in April to beat Sutton United 4-2 after extra-time at Wembley.
How’s their form?
Rotherham’s pre-season has been spent at a tough training camp in Croatia, where they played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Scott Brown’s Fleetwood Town.
Back on home soil, they have remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win against League Two Harrogate, a 2-1 victory against Crewe and 1-1 draws against Salford and Mansfield.
Who’s the gaffer?
Firm fans’ favourite Paul Warne joined the club's coaching staff after his retirement in 2012.
After amassing 261 appearances and 31 goals in two spells as a player in the heart of the Millers midfield, he replaced ex-Swansea City manager Kenny Jackett as head coach in 2016.
Three promotions to the Championship have followed in 2018, 2020 and 2022, only for the first two to be followed by relegation. Warne and his players will be determined to buck that trend this term.
Who's the captain?
Veteran centre-back Richard Wood is a commanding and experienced presence in Rotherham’s defence. Known as ‘the Wrecking Ball’ he plays in the middle of a three-man backline.
After joining the club in 2014, Wood has racked up 202 appearances for the Millers scoring 14 goals, after initially starting his career at Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.
Who are the key men?
New signing Conor Washington will have big boots to fill at the AESSEAL New York Stadium after the summer departures of last season’s top scorer Michael Smith and his strike partner Freddie Ladapo, who contributed 32 of Rotherham’s 70 goals last season.
Hard-working Northern Ireland international Washington comes with a wealth of experience at Championship level having played over 100 appearances, mainly for Queens Park Rangers where he scored 13 goals in 92 appearances.
He joins on a free transfer from Charlton Athletic where he scored 22 goals in 71 appearances over the previous two seasons.
In midfield, former Newcastle United youngster Daniel Barlaser fast became a key figure for Rotherham after initially joining on loan in 2019.
Boss Paul Warne made his move permanent in the summer of 2020 after a series of impressive performances, and Barlaser’s range of passing and threat from dead-ball situations should not be ignored.
A return of nine goals and seven assists was a fine return last season.
Goalkeeper Viktor Johansson, meanwhile, joined from Leicester City in 2020 and he excelled last term, keeping 27 clean sheets as the Millers secured another promotion.