Matt Millar ‘desperate’ to extend his Shrewsbury stay

In-form full-back Matt Millar is ‘desperate’ to extend his move to Shrewsbury Town from his native Australia.

Matthew Millar of Shrewsbury Town celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 (AMA)
Matthew Millar of Shrewsbury Town celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 (AMA)

Millar, 24, has recovered from a hamstring injury to make a flying start to his Shrewsbury career.

The attack-minded right-back has two goals in his first two Town starts and is set to continue his English Football League education as Sam Ricketts’ men head to League One big boys Ipswich Town tomorrow.

Millar initially joined Town on a short-term loan until January from Australia A-League side Newcastle Jets, but the powerful full-back is extremely keen Shrewsbury take advantage of their option to bring him to Shropshire permanently.

“I’ve really, really enjoyed my time so far and I’ve settled in really nicely here,” said Millar, who had only previously been in the UK on a short holiday five years ago.

“I’m sitting down with my agent and we’re having chats. I’m really desperate to stay here and try to perform week in week out and once it’s out of my hands there’s nothing I can do.

“Getting a visa to play here was a bit of a challenge but I’d looked into it because it’s always been a dream of mine to play in England.

“Once I heard of the interest it was a really good opportunity.”

Millar was a late bloomer as a professional in Australia, not featuring as a regular until aged 22. But he has shot to prominence and was top goalscorer from right-back for his parent club.

“Originally it was just the idea of coming to England, but the way the team is run and coached, the group of boys we have, is really important,” Millar added.

“You really want a coach who see your values and assets as a positive so that was a massive thing for me.

“The gaffer wants attacking football, full-backs who can get up and down and contribute both ways.”

Former Wolves and Wales midfielder Carl Robinson, who spent a brief five games with Shrewsbury in 1996 including appearing in Town’s first game at Wembley, was Millar’s boss at Newcastle Jets and sanctioned his switch to the UK.

But the highly-rated Llandrindod Wells-born coach has since been snapped up by fellow A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers.

Ricketts was non-committal about the prospect of extending the full-back’s stay at Montgomery Waters Meadow beyond the initial loan until January.

It is understood Town have the option of purchasing Millar in January, which is when the Jets begin their 2020/21 A-League season.

“I’m really pleased for him, it’s nice when so much work goes into recruitment, especially someone from the other side of the world, it’s a big decision for him to come over, I’m delighted how it’s started off,” said Ricketts.

“He’s done very well. His character and attitude is typified from the fact he’s come from Australia, leaving his family behind.

“He’s playing as I’d hoped and has added more with the goals. He’s a great lad with great attributes.”

Millar is likely to keep his right wing-back berth for the trip to Ipswich.

Ricketts also has a decision to make between the sticks, with on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper Deyan Iliev back in contention, exactly a month since he last played in the home defeat to Bristol Rovers. He missed seven games with the unspecified injury.

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