Here are the best bits from our chat with Sander Persidky – admin for the Russian-language Rotherham United blog with over 900 followers!
The Russian-Rotherham United blog first launched in 2014. Since then it has grown enormously and at the time of writing, the blog has 922 on-site followers!
Persidsky took over as admin/editor of the site in 2015. He has overseen the great progression of the blog in recent years. It has received a lot of recognition in Russia, as their data is often used in TV broadcasts of Millers games.
It was great to listen to Persidsky’s story and to hear him speak so passionately about Rotherham United. We hope to give you more stories like this from other Rotherham fans around the globe soon!
With that said, here are the best bits from our enjoyable talk with Sander Persidsky…
On how he came to support Rotherham United…
“I want to say right away that there are no football fans in my family. Football is not the most popular sport in Estonia. The first time I learned about Rotherham was in 2009.
“I was only 10 years old. On my birthday, my parents bought me Fifa 10. On there I decided to play for a League Two club.
“I chose Rotherham for a rather funny reason; because I fell in love with their logo! The red and white colours, the mill and also in this game you could play for Warrington and Warne, which I liked!
“It was incredibly interesting. Alas, in those days the internet was very different from the modern internet. Even at the age of ten, I did not know how to use it. As a result, I did not learn anything about the club back then. I started to learn a lot more in 2014 when the Russian-language blog was created.”
Paul Warne is a unique person. An extremely emotional year for him. I love this man.
— Hancok (@San_Pers) June 11, 2020
On how the Russian Rotherham United blog was started…
“I am not the direct creator of the blog! It was actually created by Armenian fan Harut in February 2014. Maybe the blog was created as a result of the club’s successful journey in League One.
“I joined the blog in 2014. We all remember that year – the season when the club won promotion to the Championship. That year I saw a Rotherham match for the first time thanks to a pirate link on the internet!
It was the League One play-off final against Leyton Orient. I remember that day very well, I was preparing for a school exam and at the same time, I wanted to watch some football.
“I opened a website where there are links to broadcast games and I saw Rotherham there. When I started to watch it, the score was 0-2.
“With incredible excitement, I watched the match to the end, completely forgetting that I would have to do an exam the next day. That comeback, Revell’s goal, the penalty shootout… That was the day that I fully fell in love with this club!”
On the growth of the Russian-language Rotherham site…
“A year after our promotion, I was in the tenth grade at school and I had to think about what I would do in the future. I had a desire to become a journalist, and I needed to have some kind of portfolio before entering education.
“In June 2015, Harut resigned so I became the editor of this blog. So since 2015, I have been the main person running this site. Until 2015, the blog mainly included photos from matches, game highlights and the Championship table.
“From here, I began to actively use Twitter and I followed everyone who was somehow connected with Rotherham United. I started to write long articles, translate a huge number of interviews, add my own analytics and conduct discussions between subscribers.
“I must say a huge thank you to Paul Davis and Jonathan Veal, without them, I would not have been able to do any of this!. Accordingly, in 2021 the blog will be seven years old.
“For seven years, by some miracle, we managed to gather an audience of 922 people – more than 900 Russian-speaking people following Rotherham!
“I do not understand how we managed it – at the very beginning, it was psychologically difficult because there were no views on the blog and the audience was small. However, now we have become a kind of mouthpiece for Russian-speaking football fans.
“Now if a Rotherham United match is shown on Russian television, the commentators constantly take information from my blog and sometimes even say what I have written down word for word!
“The commentator once said that we have a very cute group of fans. When I started this blog, I never would have expected it to go this far. I’m not a journalist, by the way, but over the years I have fallen in love with this club so I cannot give up now. I am proud to be a Rotherham United fan.”
From fans of Rotherham from the CIS. While Paul Warne was leaving the room below, the russian commentator seriously confused him with Guardiola. I'm not kidding @OfficialRUFC #rufc pic.twitter.com/SygfLR4Nv4
— Hancok (@San_Pers) January 7, 2019
On plans to visit the New York Stadium in the future…
“I had planned to come to Rotherham before the end of 2020. A year ago, I had already mapped out this trip and I had looked at how to get to Rotherham by plane and then by train.
“I even have a big flag prepared with the words “RU Millers” on it. But, because of this virus, all these plans suddenly became impossible.
“But I will definitely come as soon as possible. I really want to see the New York Stadium and feel the atmosphere before, during and after the match. I want to see Paul Warne on the touchline, hear him shout ‘Chieo’, eat a pukka pie… This is a dream that I will definitely fulfil!”
On how Paul Warne’s men will fare this season…
“Two months ago, I wrote an article with the thought that now is the best period in the history of Rotherham United. The owner, Tony Stewart, loves the city, the club, and he cares so much as if this club is his child.
“I think this is a very important factor, which is difficult to find in other teams. Warne also gives his best for this club, develops the scouting department, adds to the prestige and reputation of the club. He also creates the right atmosphere between players, between coaches and between fans.
“I have not followed the club that long, that is true, but even I can see a giant difference between Warne’s time and Steve Evans’s. I admit, I myself have repeatedly criticized Warne for his tactics at times. But if you look at it more broadly, what he does for the club is unlikely to be done by anyone else.
“He has assembled a team of players who are ready to die playing for this club. Thinking back to the mercenaries who played in the team back in the days of Steve Evans, I’m glad we have Warne.
“This season is the most important season in Warne’s career. We just need to secure a place in the Championship and I believe that we can do it. We have everything to achieve this: goal-hungry young players, a strong defence and midfield and Warne in charge, who is now much more experienced.”