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)

 

Kiama Chris

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Not necessarily. Maybe Fox will get his spot or even Rampe if both Melican and McCartin line up as the key defenders.
TBH I haven't seen Melican as an effective key defender for quite some time. He plays his best IMO as the third tall. This can give Rampe assistance on bigger forwards. I also think the club still hopes Melican will make it. The club normally picks 7 defenders to rotate through 6 roles.
 

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Kapers

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Most important 2 kicks in the league: the kick for goal and the kick inside 50

The latter can make for former a fu** ton easier
Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

No.

Richmond has shown that the kick inside 50 is relatively meaningless as long as it doesn't go directly to the opposition. Much more important not to have turnovers in the defensive half as well.

You can win games without marks inside 50, you can't if you aren't getting marks outside your defensive 50.
 

TheMase

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TBH I haven't seen Melican as an effective key defender for quite some time. He plays his best IMO as the third tall. This can give Rampe assistance on bigger forwards. I also think the club still hopes Melican will make it. The club normally picks 7 defenders to rotate through 6 roles.
He did well back end of last season. He can be a no.2 key especially now that McCartin has emerged as a likely no.1 in time imo.
 

Kapers

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Hit out, clearance, mark inside 50, set shot, goal

Repeat 16 times and you win. No marks outside the front 50

Not realistic but doable
Ill extend an olive branch, in a perfect game you are 100% correct. Unfortunately the current meta is turnovers, and you want turnovers in your attacking 50 not your defensive 50. That's just the games meta.

Im 5 years time, maybe I'll be looking at this post like I'm an idiot. It could all be different, maybe you'll be right. I was only commentating on the current game.
 

sataris

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Ill extend an olive branch, in a perfect game you are 100% correct. Unfortunately the current meta is turnovers, and you want turnovers in your attacking 50 not your defensive 50. That's just the games meta.

Im 5 years time, maybe I'll be looking at this post like I'm an idiot. It could all be different, maybe you'll be right. I was only commentating on the current game.
Congestion needs a nerf!
 

ashep

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Jun 15, 2014
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We had JPK, Hanners and Luke bombing it forward to noone in particular for years and went alright.

Extracting the footy and getting it in the right sort of area is 80% of the battle. Hitting your FF lace out is the cherry on the top but doesn't mean anything if the ball is up the wrong end.
 

caesar88

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We had JPK, Hanners and Luke bombing it forward to noone in particular for years and went alright.

Extracting the footy and getting it in the right sort of area is 80% of the battle. Hitting your FF lace out is the cherry on the top but doesn't mean anything if the ball is up the wrong end.
Feel like you can't get away with it as much now as you could five years ago. With intercept defenders and scoring from defensive rebounds such an important part of the game atm, a shallow entry to their advantage is just about the worst thing you could do. It's almost at the point where a long bomb out of the middle and a clearance & inside 50 for one team = a rebound and scoring opportunity for the other team.
 

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Bear31

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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.
Our back 6 or 7 is pretty hard to crack into. We have some high draft picks ready for a spot there. No vacancies.
I might agree with you if it works out that way. hehe. But if Gould replaces him in the backline, and in two years time becomes Millslike, then moving Mills to the mids would be a winner. Time Will tell though. No pun intended.
 

TheMase

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Our back 6 or 7 is pretty hard to crack into. We have some high draft picks ready for a spot there. No vacancies.
I might agree with you if it works out that way. hehe. But if Gould replaces him in the backline, and in two years time becomes Millslike, then moving Mills to the mids would be a winner. Time Will tell though. No pun intended.
Well the good (and challenging if they all develop) thing is a queue is starting to develop in all areas of the ground. Even the midfield you’ve got Rowbottom, Florent, Stephens, Blakey then potentially Gulden, Campbell, Warner even Clarke, Bell (cough) plus you add Mills, Dawson, Ling (wing) who can all play roles plus of course Kennedy, Parker and Hewett. Even Heeney and Papley can go through there when needed.

You’re right in that we have more “ready” players that could probably excuse Mills from defence. If Mills go to the mids though I think something has to give. I reckon Parker will spend a lot more time up forward potentially, particularly if Kennedy and Hewett are fit as well.

Mills might surprise me. I think he will be a good midfielder, maybe even very good in time. I don’t think he is going to change our dynamic there though as much as the likes of Blakey, Florent, Campbell and Rowbottom have the potential to. Particularly the first three (no disrespect intended to Rowbottom, he has a role to play I am not excluding or underrating him) who all have the ability to assist in our transition from the inside to the outside as they have the line breaking speed/evasiveness to get us motoring (something Horse noted in his interview this week).
 

Bear31

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Well the good (and challenging if they all develop) thing is a queue is starting to develop in all areas of the ground. Even the midfield you’ve got Rowbottom, Florent, Stephens, Blakey then potentially Gulden, Campbell, Warner even Clarke, Bell (cough) plus you add Mills, Dawson, Ling (wing) who can all play roles plus of course Kennedy, Parker and Hewett. Even Heeney and Papley can go through there when needed.

You’re right in that we have more “ready” players that could probably excuse Mills from defence. If Mills go to the mids though I think something has to give. I reckon Parker will spend a lot more time up forward potentially, particularly if Kennedy and Hewett are fit as well.

Mills might surprise me. I think he will be a good midfielder, maybe even very good in time. I don’t think he is going to change our dynamic there though as much as the likes of Blakey, Florent, Campbell and Rowbottom have the potential to. Particularly the first three (no disrespect intended to Rowbottom, he has a role to play I am not excluding or underrating him) who all have the ability to assist in our transition from the inside to the outside as they have the line breaking speed/evasiveness to get us motoring (something Horse noted in his interview this week).
I agree the queue everywhere. That is why we have to move X to there because Y has the be back there. I imagine Horse goes to sleep at night not knowing where all the pieces fit in the puzzle. I reckon Horse does not know definitively what yet what to do with the young talent he has. Rampe is 31. Needs a succession plan. Reid is 30. Needs a succession plan. Ruck needs a major succession plan. Our mids are "covered". Our talls not so much.
 

BruceFromBalnarring

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I agree the queue everywhere. That is why we have to move X to there because Y has the be back there. I imagine Horse goes to sleep at night not knowing where all the pieces fit in the puzzle. I reckon Horse does not know definitively what yet what to do with the young talent he has. Rampe is 31. Needs a succession plan. Reid is 30. Needs a succession plan. Ruck needs a major succession plan. Our mids are "covered". Our talls not so much.
I know it was only footage, but Amartey smashing Hickey in the ruck made me look a few times.
 

Heeney2Franklin

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Dont switch him from HB/Mid or any rotating nonsense if you want him as a mid then give him a decent crack at it.

Otherwise keep him at HB he is pretty good there.
 

TheMase

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I am pretty sure this was based off one incident and I am sure it was a still photo without any context of the surroundings of what led to it.

Happy to be corrected.
 

caesar88

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I am pretty sure this was based off one incident and I am sure it was a still photo without any context of the surroundings of what led to it.

Happy to be corrected.
It's almost impossible to take anything out of match sim. It's very much a case of the fans - and even the coaching staff - looking for what they want to see.

ie.

One photo shows McLean looking like a hulk = has trained the house down and will have massive improvement this year.

An image shows Amartey doing well against Hickey = Amartey has improved out of sight, and Hickey is a stinking potato.

A coach says Blakey was a stand-out in the match sim = was our BOG and will be a star this year.

When in reality, it's more likely that

McLean looks like a hulk = has put in work over the off-season knowing he was a long way off where he needed to be, and if he has improved it will be marginally (which is fine for a developing tall.)

Amartey does well against Hickey = Amartey is in his fourth year on the list and was bound to get bigger and stronger, and Hickey does not have to win every single contest in a match sim exercise.

Blakey was a stand-out in the match = Blakey was impressive but the usual suspects were probably still our best players, but it's such old news that they don't garner a mention.

Then there's the fact that a lot of these blokes, though they and the club will never admit it, don't always give above 75% intensity in these match sims. Some players do what they need to do to get through a match sim and then flick the switch on when the real stuff starts. So I take match sims as nothing more than a chance for the players to blow off some cob-webs, and get familiar with each other and any changes to the game plan. It has very little say in how any of these guys will actually go this year.
 

caesar88

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Well the good (and challenging if they all develop) thing is a queue is starting to develop in all areas of the ground. Even the midfield you’ve got Rowbottom, Florent, Stephens, Blakey then potentially Gulden, Campbell, Warner even Clarke, Bell (cough) plus you add Mills, Dawson, Ling (wing) who can all play roles plus of course Kennedy, Parker and Hewett. Even Heeney and Papley can go through there when needed.

You’re right in that we have more “ready” players that could probably excuse Mills from defence. If Mills go to the mids though I think something has to give. I reckon Parker will spend a lot more time up forward potentially, particularly if Kennedy and Hewett are fit as well.

Mills might surprise me. I think he will be a good midfielder, maybe even very good in time. I don’t think he is going to change our dynamic there though as much as the likes of Blakey, Florent, Campbell and Rowbottom have the potential to. Particularly the first three (no disrespect intended to Rowbottom, he has a role to play I am not excluding or underrating him) who all have the ability to assist in our transition from the inside to the outside as they have the line breaking speed/evasiveness to get us motoring (something Horse noted in his interview this week).
I agree with this. I am not sold on Mills as a midfielder, but if we are looking for a younger JPK/Parker, then it makes sense, providing it's actually one of JPK or Parker who makes way for him, and not a more dynamic mid. (I, too, would vote Parker, as I've been consistent all along that he would be one of the best half forwards in the comp with his skill-set, and has more to offer in that regard than JPK.)

However I worry that it will actually end up taking away from the games of one of Florent, Rowbottom, Blakey or Stephens. I'm just not convinced that Horse would want to go into a season without his two captains leading the midfield.
 

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