Player of the Year Will Vaulks is planning on wearing a Rotherham United shirt next season despite the fact he could be a wanted man in the summer.
The midfielder has been a driving force in the Millers’ League One play-off campaign and is set to be a key figure when their end-of-season promotion shoot-out begins later this month.
Rotherham are braced for interest from other clubs in players like Vaulks and winger Joe Newell. Unconfirmed reports have linked Sheffield United and Rangers to the 24-year-old who has been at AESSEAL New York Stadium for two years,
But Vaulks, who last night added the Star’s Player-of-the-Year award to the one he won at the club’s presentation evening, reckons he’s going nowhere.
“I’ve got another year on my contract and I see myself being here for at least another year,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I? And hopefully it’s another year here in the Championship.”
The Millers end their regular fixtures at home to Blackpool this Saturday and Vaulks is targeting three points against a midtable side who have won four and drawn one of their last five matches to give him and his teammates a pre-play-off boost.
“I’m confident about the play-offs, very confident,” he said, “I’m looking forward to them. We’ve still got the Blackpool game to come. I think it’s important we win that, if I’m honest, so we go into the play-offs in good form. Then, bring it on.”
Vaulks was part of the squad relegated from the second tier last term but has demonstrated his true quality as a virtual ever-present this time around, scoring six goals in 48 appearances.
“It’s very nice to win the award,” he said. “The team has done brilliantly this season. You can do well as an individual only when the team is playing well. It’s a team sport at the end of the day.
“It’s been a much better season for myself and hopefully next year is even better. I’m happy with my form this season. I just love playing football so to play every week is massive for me. I think, after last year, to pick up the award means more because I’ve shown people a little bit more what I can do.
“I suppose it boils down to more confidence, momentum and getting a run in a side doing well.”
Rotherham are poised to finish in fourth spot and, depending on results elsewhere, will face Charlton Athletic, Scunthorpe United or Plymouth Argyle in their two-legged play-off semi-final for the right to contest the final at Wembley.
“What’s changed from last year? It’s the positive environment around the place,” Vaulks added. “This year, we’ve been winning games, we’re always competitive and we’ve won several games late on, which has been a big change.”
Paul Warne was named Manager of the Year at the Star Football Awards evening, held at the Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Sheffield, while chairman Tony Stewart was given a Special Achievement honour after 10 years in charge of the club he saved from administration.