Waud training with Rotherham United

Reggie Waud shouldn’t affect his playing style while training with Rotherham United by losing too much size, advises the Millers’ coaches.

Waud scored 15 goals in five starts in the West Riding FA Senior Cup following being dropped from Neil Ross’ opening two U23s matches due to fitness concerns.

Lutel James, Academy Director, rewarded Waud’s form by arranging for the training with the Millers.

Diet has been a big part of the Millers’ training during his first week, according to Waud, who says he is being advised by their coaches he shouldn’t try to be lean.

“A lot of it is maintaining my eating,” explained Waud. “Watching the portions, cutting out carbs as much as you can. Losing weight is my main goal now.

“They [Rotherham] have specifically said ‘do not lose all your size’. Taking away all my size, that could change me as a player and that’s not what they want.

“A lot of the drills are fitness based given what time of the season it is. They are what I’d say ‘elite fitness’ and obviously I’m not there yet.

“I’m with the u18s at the minute, playing [in-house matches] against other 18s. 30-minute halves, stuff like that. Some 16s have been involved as well and they’re just as good, same fitness levels”.

Waud is also having private gym sessions twice a week with former Goole Manager, PT & Academy Technical Director Les Nelson as further off-field reaction to his frustration over being left out of the starting line-up.

Louis Fialdini & Sandile Masuku both scored in the opening 4-2 victory over Emley while Waud missed out but getting the explanation from his manager was appreciated.

“The squad gets put into the chat before the game so I saw I was on the bench and I didn’t think twice about asking questions because I totally get where he’s coming from,” said Waud. “I did appreciate he messaged me and explained why. I was in bad shape, I wasn’t up to 100% fitness and the other lads, they were in good shape and very fit.

“It frustrates you but you’ve got to get back in the squad somehow and trying to get fit and scoring the goals how I did was me trying to get back in the squad.

“During lockdown, as the football season was off, some people took it as a holiday, some people took it as to work harder. Myself, I took it as a holiday, thinking I’d come back as the same player. And then as soon as we came back training, I realised I was unfit.”

Lutel James, Academy director and ex-Accrington Stanley professional footballer, knows Waud well as a player, previously managing him at Goole and rewarded Waud’s impressive end of the season form, by approaching Rotherham.

“With Lutel, it’s a lot about his advice,” said Waud. “He gives the best advice as to what I should do as a striker and obviously he’s been in the league before so he knows what he’s talking about. He says it how it is to me and I’ve not really had that before in a manager.”

The Rotherham academy have two friendlies arranged for Tuesday and Saturday next week.

“I’m hoping to be involved – if I’m fit enough,” explained Waud.