Tom Barrett aims to make his mark

The article below has been provided courtesy of Guy Williams and The Star.

Competition for places in Rotherham’s Championship match-day squad is razor sharp, not least when it comes to the key position of fly half.

The choice is between Ulsterman James McKinney, Greg Lound and 22 year old Tom Barrett who scored more than 300 points for Wharfedale in National One last season, the second highest.

Barrett, a Philosophy student at Leeds University, had earlier started his career at Leeds Carnegie, playing three games in the British and Irish Cup during the 2011/12 season.

He then moved to Doncaster Knights for an unsatisfactory season and left following the club’s relegation in the spring of 2013.

“I owe Wharfedale a lot and wouldn’t be at Rotherham now if it were not for the experience I got there. I enjoyed my time at Wharfedale, but the Championship is a massive step up for me.

“In National One, you are able to get away with things. You are training only two nights a week, but here you are full time.

“One of my motivating factors in coming to Rotherham is to prove to myself that I’m good enough to play in the Championship. If I didn’t think I could do it, I wouldn’t be getting up on some mornings at 5.45 to drive to training.

“I know I need to improve defensively if I’m to play consistently in the Championship, and while I know that my game-management improved at Wharfedale, I’m still learning.

“I was approached by Rotherham to join and it’s a great opportunity for me. It will be tough to get into the side because James McKinney is a quality player from a good level.

“But it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and Lee is a fair coach who’s said that players who do well in training and in games will be rewarded.

“When Lee was at Leeds in his final season, I played a few games with him and since becoming the Rotherham coach, he has created a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

“Matches I’m looking forward to are those against Doncaster because I’ve a point to prove. My personal goal is to get some game-time in the Championship and punch on from there.

“I want to show that I’m good enough. This pre-season has been tough and the hardest I’ve experienced but I feel I’m making progress and benefiting from the sessions aimed at getting you quicker and stronger.”