Player Watch #14 Callum Mills

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Callum Mills

Callum Mills is one of the best young players in the AFL. The QBE Sydney Swans Academy graduate won the 2016 AFL Rising Star award and was selected in the AFL Players’ Association’s 22Under22 team in three of his four eligible years. Mills is a small defender with uncompromising courage who’s also capable of shifting through the midfield. The New South Welshman was elevated to Sydney’s leadership group during the 2018 pre-season at the age of just 21, and he’s now a member of a five-man leadership panel alongside co-captains Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dane Rampe, as well as Lance Franklin.

Callum Mills
DOB: 02 April 1997
DEBUT: 2016
DRAFT: #3, 2015 National Draft
RECRUITED FROM: North Shore (NSW)

 

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DrWong

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Aug 16, 2020
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Mills has been quite underrated with the work his been doing this year IMO.

Btw, has anyone notice that Horse has been naming him in the midfielder in every team release? But I haven't seen in play in that position in the last couple of games.
 

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Citrus22

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Jun 21, 2015
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He’s a quality player who doesn’t lose his cool under pressure, he’s also a good long kick most of the time and can take intercept marks. He looks really strong physically this year too, bigger in the arms and shoulders.

Frankly it’d be great to see him in the midfield more but currently he’s just too valuable in defence. He helps us win the clearances in the time he has spent in the middle so if more of that
is required in future he’ll be valuable in there.

It’s easy to forget he’s only 23 and there’s still plenty of time for his game to evolve and develop, who knows what he could still be!
 

TheMase

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Jul 20, 2001
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Please point to the game where Mills has been able to spend most of it in the midfield?
Why does he need to spend most of the game in the midfield for people to make the determination he is more valuable in defence?

For my view it’s playing out exactly as I expected.... he is adequate in the middle but not outstanding and has been sorely missed in defence when he isn’t there.
 

DrWong

Draftee
Aug 16, 2020
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Why does he need to spend most of the game in the midfield for people to make the determination he is more valuable in defence?

For my view it’s playing out exactly as I expected.... he is adequate in the middle but not outstanding and has been sorely missed in defence when he isn’t there.
What attributes do you think he is lacking to be a full time midfielder? Or is it the fact he is a bit too similar to some of the guys that are already there?
 

TheMase

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What attributes do you think he is lacking to be a full time midfielder? Or is it the fact he is a bit too similar to some of the guys that are already there?
Yeah pretty close. I just don’t think he offers anything more than other players we have that can play midfield. Look at the impact Blakey had for instance and compare with Mills stints in the mids.

Conversely, what do we lose by having someone replace him in defence? Mills is elite at reading the flight of the ball, can play above his height defensively and is important to our transition out of defence.

Mills will perform a role wherever asked of him because he is an absolute competitor.
He is or imo would be an average midfielder (not average as in bad, just stock standard no frills) however he is already an elite defender and when Rampe goes will be the leader of the defence and probably captain of the team.
 

DrWong

Draftee
Aug 16, 2020
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Yeah pretty close. I just don’t think he offers anything more than other players we have that can play midfield. Look at the impact Blakey had for instance and compare with Mills stints in the mids.

Conversely, what do we lose by having someone replace him in defence? Mills is elite at reading the flight of the ball, can play above his height defensively and is important to our transition out of defence.

Mills will perform a role wherever asked of him because he is an absolute competitor.
He is or imo would be an average midfielder (not average as in bad, just stock standard no frills) however he is already an elite defender and when Rampe goes will be the leader of the defence and probably captain of the team.
That's fair enough. Though I would hope he still has little spells in the middle, particularly if Kennedy and Parker aren't attending the square.
 

The King!

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I see mills as an all Australian contender mid sized defensive player who can play on a variety of sizes, set up play (not elite by foot but good) great mark for his size and reads play

Will set up our attack

Or he is an ok midfielder who lacks a bit of awareness but could be a solid contributor

I know where I’d rather him play

Maybe he could have got more midfield time early or they could just have stfu about midfield time but when he is there it’s nothing special imo and as mase said we miss him down back

I’m more convinced Lloyd and Dawson need to be out of defence
 

SwansProudly

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Sep 5, 2016
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:oops:
Bear31 mentioned Callum's siblings in 2021 Pre-season training thread

...
He's come to grief on his BMX, on the slopes and was headed for trouble on the dirt bike had his father not intervened. He's broken bones and somehow had a thorn lodged in his tendons.
...
"Surviving his childhood was far more daunting," his father Darren Mills said.

Mills' father describes it differently. "He can't weigh things normally. He can't tolerate anything other than getting the best outcome," Mills senior said. "Part of his thought process when he backs into a pack isn't 'I'm going to get crunched here'."

There is no doing things by halves in the Mills family. His sister Charlotte is a cross country horse rider. Older brother Wesley is a highly talented motocross rider, who broke his neck on a dirt jump riding his BMX. He still rides dirt bikes in the US, where he lives, and wins country races. Younger brother Lewis is into street BMX, where riders perform tricks on curbs, handrails, stairs and other obstacles. Reputation is grown through uploading stunts on social media. He has four times the following of his league footballer brother on Instagram.
...
The difference between Mills and his two brothers is skill, which explains why he has broken the most bones. There was the ski holiday where they all ignored their father's order not to take a run. It ended with Callum, then 10, bungling a jump and suffering a double fracture in his wrist, where his arm "was pulling apart like an elastic band".
"He's not crying, he's more apologising to me because he thought he's going to get into trouble," Mills senior said.
...

If he's not courageous, then he's definitely brave and has a high pain threshold. As a child, Mills loved to jump from the top bunk across a gap to the bottom of the next one, despite being told not to.
Once, he landed badly and hurt his leg but kept it quiet so as not to get into trouble. "He hovered around for three days at school with a broken leg," his father said.
 

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BloodySwan

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Oct 2, 2016
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This is really the year to do it. I personally wouldn't move Mills to the middle but his biggest weakness down the back is he can't play tall. Its been singled out a few times, but Fox & Dawson are much better at playing tall & small than Mills is
 

RUNVS

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Feb 28, 2007
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Mills will pretty much instantly become our primary ball winner. The pressure this is gonna take off Kennedy will be enormous. Reckon Kennedy is gonna have a renaissance this season.

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To me Mills, Hewett and Rowbottom should all be our primary ball winners. I think the three of them would be a really good combination.
 

caesar88

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Apr 26, 2016
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So our forwards are the lucky ones to get the numpty kicks to no one in particular.
Think the idea is that if you can get it out of the back-line effectively, that means you don't have to push everyone up to help out trying to move the ball forward. If we can use it well between the arcs then we can actually maintain a forward structure, where guys like Hayward, McDonald, Papley don't actually need to leave the forward 50, because they trust we will get it down to them.

Besides, it's not like we have a shortage of good ball-users in the midfield/forward half - Blakey, McInerney, Rowbottom, Stephens, and Campbell & Dawson will still be doing plenty of delivering.
 

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