Young Miles one of the recruits of the season

BY – JACKSON CLARK

TWITTER – @jclark182

 

If you think Richmond’s good form since injecting Anthony Miles into the side is purely a coincidence, you are mistaken.

The former GWS player has almost single handedly turned the Tigers into one of the best contested ball-winning teams in the competition.

He is ranked second in the AFL for clearances in the past five weeks in what may turn out to be a recruiting masterpiece by Francis Jackson.

After struggling to crack a regularly senior spot at the Giants, Miles was delisted at the end of the 2013 season.

His AFL career was in limbo but he was thrown a lifeline by the Tigers late in the rookie draft.

After some strong early-season form in the VFL, he was promoted to the senior list before making his debut against North Melbourne in round 12.

The clearance winning machine has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and has become an integral part of the Richmond midfield.

His role has given more freedom to players such as Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin, who are now able to become more damaging on the outside.

He has effectively taken over from Shane Tuck as that solid midfielder that uses his body as a battering ram.

The Tigers also recruited Matt Thomas for this role and while he has been a serviceable stop-gap option, Miles looks a long term prospect.

Miles has always been able to find the football.

He had a 43 possession game in the NAB U18 Championships and also gathered 52 disposals in a NEAFL game two years ago.

He plays with a “see ball, get ball” style and is on the verge of signing a two-year contract extension.

It will be interesting to compare his career with the more highly touted Taylor Adams, who also left GWS, but who arrived at Collingwood with a higher price tag.

While I don’t think many Collingwood supporters would be complaining about Adams’ first year output, the Tigers supporters will be over the moon for effectively getting Miles for free.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

Comments

  1. Paddy Grindlay says

    Absolute gun. Cannot believe GWS let him go, he was ok in his time there. You can’t expect him to set the world on fire as a youngster, so why did GWS kick him out.
    I’m not complaining though…

  2. kath presdee says

    A lot of us were wondering why you’d let go the NSW boys, particularly ones like Anthony Miles. Problem was that if you’re a midfielder who then suffers from an injury in season 2, you end up losing your spot in the GWS queue very quickly.

    The best comparison with Snipper is Dom Tyson. He also suffered injuries so got limited games in the seniors. The club then moved him on. Taylor Adams started looking for coin (he was getting regular senior games, unlike Miles and Tyson) so went to Collingwood.

    I think with the full changeover to Leon Cameron the Club’s philosophy was that you don’t get free games anymore. No more debuting a kid for the sake of playing him. It’s the best 22 on the park. If Snipper is fighting Ward, Treloar and Shiel for his spot, he’s not going to get the senior call. Also, judging from the NEAFL games I’ve seen this year, he is too good for that comp.

    We’re happy to see Snipper, Dom, Sam Darley and Jack Hombsch get regular games for other teams. We’d love to see them in the orange and charcoal still – but we’d rather see talented footballers live out their dreams than give the game away.

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