Ward's wishes Granted with Rotherham awards double
03 May 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Grant Ward admitted he “couldn’t have hoped for much more” after scooping two trophies at Rotherham United’s end-of-season awards over the weekend.
The midfielder has played 42 times in all competitions for the Millers since linking up with them on loan at the beginning of the campaign – with a final day clash with Hull City still to come on Saturday – and last week helped them secure Championship survival by taking a point away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He’s also chipped in with league goals against Burnley and Bolton Wanderers and has now earned recognition for his contributions after being named Rotherham’s Young Player of the Year as well as picking up the South Yorkshire club’s Goal of the Season award for his strike against the Clarets.
Having operated in both central and right midfield areas over the course of the campaign under a succession of managers, the 21-year-old feels his trophy double is just reward for a season of progress following his previous loan spells at Chicago Fire and Coventry City.
“On a personal level it’s been a great experience for me, especially getting as many games as I have done,” said Grant, who has played under Steve Evans, Neil Redfearn and Neil Warnock at Rotherham since the beginning of 2015-16. “There’s not much more I could have hoped for with the team staying up and getting some awards at the end of it.
“Those spells at Chicago and Coventry were good loans for me as well but I just feel like with this loan I’ve obviously played at a higher level and, having played the amount of games that I have, it can only help me in my development.
“When the new managers came in I felt like I had to prove myself to each one and it seems like I did that so I think that’s a good achievement in itself. It was a great feeling to stay up last week as well – it’s been a long season, obviously we’ve had some ups and downs but it was nice to end it like that.
“I believe I’ve got better as the season has gone on really, I feel like I’ve got stronger. The Championship is a very good league, it’s a good standard, physically strong as well, so that can all help to shape my game in future.”
Grant saw off competition from Rotherham academy graduate Jerry Yates and former Oldham Athletic forward Jonson Clarke-Harris to claim the club’s Young Player of the Year award and he confirmed: “I was pleased with that one, it’s nice to get that award at the end of the season because you know that people recognise what you’ve done. A few of the previous players who have won it have gone on to have successful careers in the game so it’s a good base.”
Recalling his Goal of the Season-winning strike against Burnley (above), which came in a 2-1 defeat back on October 2, the dynamic midfielder added: “I remember I was playing on the wing at the time and then I got moved infield. I just found myself at the edge of the box and I knew as soon as I got the ball that I was going to touch it and shoot and luckily it just went in the back of the net!"