Those in the know in the environs of the training grounds of the Adelaide Crows are excited about the good camp that defender Wayne Milera has been having.
Teammate Josh Jenkins is of the opinion that Milera could be the best small defender in the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership competition. Milera has played predominantly forward in the first three seasons of his 43-game AFL career, but he began to show a lot of upside potential when Don Pyke moved him back in the waning stages of last season.
Milera played the final seven games of the season on the defensive side, with his averages for disposals, marks and intercepts climbing. He also supplied the Crows which some much-needed spark from the half-back position, although it is not proper to say that Adelaide would have made finals if Pyke had moved Milera at the start of the season.
Milera showed up at training camp ready to go and fit, winning the Crows’ 2km time trial. Other factors in training camp had Jenkins in an effusive spirit, when he told SEN’s Off The Bench, “I’m telling you now, and it’s biased because I get to see him every day — Wayne Milera could be anything. He is unbelievable. He’s had some hamstring issues, but he is unbelievable. He could be the best half-back in the game, he’s the real deal. He could be anything.”
Those are weighty expectations, but if you have a player with sore hamstrings that outruns the rest of the club, all you need do is ensure healthy legs and perhaps the Crows can view 2018 as an anomaly.
Milera’s legs did not prove much impediment last year. He played 19 of 22 games last season.
It will not take long to determine if Milera is indeed unbelievable and anything, but the Crows need something of the sort, as the bookies view Adelaide as the sixth line in the premiership futures market.
Ladbrokes has them posted at $13, but from an objective perspective, their tables seem to tilt mainly in the direction of the Victorian clubs.