Why Shane Ferguson's stunner boosts the profile of Rotherham United

ROTHERHAM UNITED first-team coach Matt Hamshaw admits that Shane Ferguson’s stunning rise to prominence on the international front with Northern Ireland represented a Boy’s Own moment for the Millers’ utility player.

Shane Ferguson. Picture courtesy of Rotherham United FC.
Shane Ferguson. Picture courtesy of Rotherham United FC.

Ferguson, 30, was afforded an unforgettable day to savour on his milestone fiftieth cap for his country on Sunday, coming off the bench to score with a sensational long-range strike to secure a 1-0 victory against Estonia in an otherwise drab friendly in Tallinn.

While being delighted for the player, Hamshaw believes that Ferguson’s moment will also have spin-off effects in raising the profile for the Millers.

Rotherham have a burgeoning international contingent with Wes Harding currently on national duty with Jamaica, while striker Josh Kayode, who was brought up in Dublin, is currently on international business with the Republic of Ireland under-21s.

Wingman Chiedozie Ogbene was also called up to the Republic’s senior squad for the first time in May.

The Cork-raised player made his debut against Hungary the following month, becoming the first African-born player to represent the Republic in the process.

On Ferguson’s strike and the club’s growing international roster, Hamshaw - speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy derby at Doncaster Rovers, said: “We have all been talking about it this morning, to be fair. What a goal.

“I don’t think you will see a better goal probably in world football the other night. The fact it was his fiftieth cap and he was the captain - as soon as he came on the field of play - was something that you would read about in a book and if somebody did not tell you it was going to happen, you wouldn’t believe them.

“He (Ferguson) is a great lad who has been fantastic since he has been here so far. I think he is well capable of scoring a lot more goals and we hope that now he has got one over there, he can continue as soon as he gets back here.

“One per cent, it is positive for the club. The same applies to Wes Harding and JJ (Kayode) who has gone away with the Irish under-21s. It is brilliant that they get individually recognized, but also as a club.

“It is good for the club and that the other lads see it. Sometimes, you get this opinion of certain clubs that they will never have international players or whatever else.

“People are looking at us slightly differently over the last few years and we have had many a lad called up for their country and we hope these three can be the first of a lot more to come.

“He (Kayode) is still a young player and the fact that he is gone with Ireland under-21s and they have given him the number nine shirt speaks volumes and thet obviously really like him and he has done well while he is there.

“He did well at Carlisle last year and has obviously come in and started a few games for us and done really well.”