TOM Bradshaw sang ‘I believe I can fly’ for his initiation song – and Millwall fans will be hoping he lives up to the lyrics.
Bradshaw will be anticipating plenty of crosses into the box in what he hopes will be a successful Lions career, though it was from the deck he scored a brace when Barnsley defeated Millwall 3-1 in September 2017.
Barnsley were relegated on the last day of the season, which meant Bradshaw was always likely to leave.
When he became aware of Millwall’s interest there was never going to be any other destination.
The transfer dragged on most of the summer, before he heard after Barnsley’s 4-0 win at Rochdale two weeks ago that the clubs had come to an agreement.
“I knew about Millwall at the start of the summer and for me it was a great move, going back to the Championship and playing for a club the size of Millwall,” Bradshaw said.
“There were a few clubs sniffing around but once I heard Millwall were interested it was a case of it being the deal I wanted to get done.
“The move was perfect for me and I told my agent that it was a move I would definitely be interested in. I made it very clear. I tried not to get too involved in it all, it was public knowledge and there was a lot of toing and froing, a lot of bids went in and got rejected.
“I find it best to leave that to my representatives and if it happened it happened and if it didn’t I would have got my head down. I’ve always been professional in that sense. I’ll always do well for whichever club I’m playing for.
“Once the transfer window [for permanent deals] closed I lost a bit of hope, but the way the window is these days even when it’s closed there are still deals to be done.
“It was exciting. I found out after Barnsley’s game that everything had been accepted so it was just a case of getting down to London and getting all the contracts signed.
“As soon as I got that phone call I was over the moon.”
The move also suited as Bradshaw’s girlfriend and her family live in Bexley, while his brother and his family are close by.
And there is one particular purchase he intends to make for his nephew.
“There are a few Millwall fans among the family, but mainly Arsenal. Glory hunters, I think,” Bradshaw joked. “My brother’s family are West Ham fans so that makes it a bit spicy. I’m going to get my nephew a little Millwall shirt and see how that’s going to go down.
“All my girlfriend’s family live in Bexley so location-wise it was perfect. And from a football point of view it was perfect as well.”
There was one other reason Bradshaw wanted the move. He has three international caps for Wales, and is keen to attract the attention of Dragons boss Ryan Giggs and add to the tally.
“To play international football you have to be playing at the highest levels,” Bradshaw continued. “Dropping down to League One doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be out of the squad but international managers look for players at the higher levels.
“It was a factor in my decision. I love playing for my country. I’ve been involved quite a few times with squads and I just want to keep playing with Wales.
“[Neil Harris] had watched me for a few years, I’ve played against [Millwall] a load of times. He knows my game and he wants more of the same – getting in the box and getting goals.
“I’ll always work hard for the team, press the ball and chase lost causes. That’s something I’ll bring to the team.”
Bradshaw made his debut at Rotherham – after first going through the ritual all new signings have to go through and choosing the R Kelly number.
"It was slow tempo but it went down alright," Bradshaw joked. "There were a few joining in and a few singing on the way back to the rooms afterwards.
"It’s been great. It was good for me to have an overnight away trip early doors in terms of getting to know the lads properly, getting my initiation song out of the way.
"The lads have been as good as I could have asked."
Image: Millwall FC