North East Australian Football League
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10.02.2017 15:38 Age: 43 days

Mills excited by new chapter at the Bombers

Stephen Mills in action during Redland training. Photo: Highflyer Images.



New Redland recruit Stephen Mills is hoping a fresh start at the Bombers will breathe new life into his football career.

The former Southport defender has spent the past three years in the WAFL with South Fremantle and Perth, but has returned home to Queensland to begin a new chapter at Bombers.

Originally from Rockhampton in central Queensland, Mills was a member of the Gold Coast Suns Academy and made his NEAFL debut for the Suns as a 17-year-old in 2012.

A year later Mills headed to Perth to try his luck in the WAFL, but opportunities were limited.

“I always wanted to play at a high level and wanted to go to Perth in the hope of getting my name out there,” he said.

“I have definitely come back a better player, but I wasn’t getting the opportunity I thought I deserved over there. I was also injured a bit in my first two years.

“I always wanted to come back at some point and be closer to home, and I feel a lot happier here now.”

At just 21, Mills will be a boost to Redland’s key position stocks with his ability to play at either end of the ground.

He moved back in time for day one of pre-season training, and has loved it ever since.

“The club has been brilliant, they are probably the most professional club I’ve been at,” he said.

“Cody (Fullarton) and all the fitness staff by far take the best care of their players with everything we’re doing.

“Southport contacted me as well when I was looking to come home, but my heart was set on Redland because they are a young and dedicated group.”

Mills has played under six different coaches in the past six years. While at times it has been a frustrating start to his senior career, a more settled Mills is hoping he can now realise his full potential.

“I know what I can do and what I can’t do so I just want to play to my strengths,” he said. “I learned a lot in Perth with different coaching setups and structures.

“I’m definitely excited about this year. The NEAFL a lot stronger comp now with lots of good players.

“It’s going to be a good challenge and hopefully it’s a good year for us with the way we’ve been training and everything we’ve put in place.”

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