Redland milestone man Scott Miller is more interested in looking ahead rather that behind him as the young defender prepares for this 100th NEAFL match on Saturday.
A Bombers player since juniors, Miller is one of the club’s favourite sons and has risen through the ranks to be a core member of the club’s NEAFL team.
While thankful for the 100 NEAFL games since his debut back in 2013, Miller believes it is the contests to come that will be the most memorable.
“You can see that we’re building to something special,” Miller told neafl.com.au. “We’re not too far away from success at all.
“The belief is back with the football club and the fans can see that, the number of close games we’ve had; I think we’ve got five losses by less than 10 points now. You can just see that we’re on the right trajectory as a club."
Having played most of his career as a defender, the 23-year-old has shifted more into the midfield in 2019 and is revelling in some career-best football.
“I’ve never really had a set position per se,” he said.
“I’ve lined up predominantly in defence over the last few years, but I’ve always considered myself more of a utility player; someone who’s got the ability to move around the ground and play the role my team needs.
“So this year with a couple of injuries and thanks to Phil (Carse) and Jason Cotter to move into the middle and learn the craft in there.
“It’s certainly been pretty eye opening over the last few weeks, we’ve played against some pretty stacked midfields guys like Andrew Boston and Abe Ankers last week, they show you how you need to get the job done in there, but I just love being able to play my role for the team each week, and that’s something I’ll always build my game on.”
Miller’s gratitude to his new senior coach Phil Carse didn’t end there, hailing the club legend as the leader of Redland’s new wave.
“He’s the life and soul of the club,” Miller said of Carse.
“As far as the Redland Bombers Football Club goes, he’s as highly ranked as anyone else. He’s been a breath a breath of fresh air this year and that’s taking nothing away from the previous coaches we’ve had, he just really understands the club and where it’s at.
“He’s someone who genuinely wants to see us be as good as we can be and ultimately win a premiership which unfortunately isn’t going to pan out this year, but we can really see a brightness for where we’re headed.”
Miller’s relationship with Carse begun in 2013, as a 16-year-old Scott Miller made his NEAFL debut alongside Carse against the Gold Coast SUNS, a day Miller remembers well.
“Playing against the Gold Coast SUNS, they were pretty stacked back then, I think Tom Lynch kicked a bag on us. Guys like Clay Cameron and Andrew Boston were with the SUNS back then. That’s always something I’ll remember,” Miller recalls
Having commenced his journey as a Bomber as a 13-year-old, Miller expresses how much the club has provided for him both on and off-field.
“On the training track we’re a really positive group, we make sure we keep each other up and about. That’s what I’m about as a footballer and a person. It is always about the on-field success, but it’s the peripheral aspects to football as well that I really enjoy,” he said.
“Just being around these guys at training two or three times a week, and rocking up to play footy with your best mates on the weekend - what’s better than that?”
“To have the opportunity to play for your local club at a pretty high level in the NEAFL is something you dream about and I could never see myself playing anywhere else no matter what really.”
Miller fell in and out of the senior side through the first few seasons after his debut, but cemented a spot in the 22 in 2015, and as he put it, “the games just tick by and all of a sudden, you’re there!”
Acknowledging the weight of the Aspley clash his milestone match falls on, as a new induction to the leadership group this season, Miller definitely feels some more responsibility for his club’s performance, and the development of his teenage teammates.
“I always like to lead from the front where I can,” he said.
“I was fortunate enough to be quite young when I started playing senior footy. I’ve been around the system, I know how senior footy works, the challenges that go into it and all the hard work you have to put in.
“Part of the joy that I get is seeing the team success and seeing these young guys hopefully get on an AFL list someday as well.”
After completing his accounting degree last year and moving into full-time work, Miller is truly excited to reward the club’s loyalty and service soon.
“We’re on a path that’s going to be successful in the near future,” he said.
“Our big motto this year has been ‘turning the tide’ and whilst we haven’t necessarily had the results on the board this year, we’re a far more competitive team.”
Like most players, a 100th game isn’t something that’s thought of much until it happens, but once it does, it proves an important opportunity for reflection.
“It (100 games) is pretty special, and I can’t be thankful enough to the people at the Redland footy club and my family and friends who’ve supported me all the way. I’ve been pretty lucky to play at the Redland footy club and wouldn’t have it any other way. It is just a fantastic footy club.” Miller said.
As Redland’s No. 12 becomes the NEAFL’s latest centurion this Saturday, the Bombers take the next step in their rebuild against the Aspley Hornets at home, a contest Redland can’t afford to take lightly.
“It’s matching Aspley’s intensity then bettering it. We’re able to score points, that’s not been the struggle this year, it’s stemming the flow from the other end. We’ve got to really put the foot on the throat,” Miller said.
“We’ve started to generate a really good crowd at home this season. Even though the wins might not necessarily be on the board.
“Three home games to finish off the season gives us a really good platform to build on for next year.”
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