Player Watch #46: Ben Miller

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Meteoric Rise

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
5,113
13,717
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
When he got dropped and went back to the VFL he lost that hunger to compete in the air and I was starting to get quite worried about him. The last two weeks he's had that back and played two of his best games in the VFL.

I'm starting to think that he may be best suited to being that looser third tall down back where he can take advantage of his speed and kicking to be an offensive weapon, rather than having to lock down an opponent. The big hurdle with that is that Biggy and Gibcus are probably both in the same boat, though Gibcus is a bit more complete as a key defender than the other two.

Whatever role he plays back there, he still needs to read the incoming ball well and needs to be able to assert himself in contests. He just needs to keep improving these areas of his game. It will be tremendous for the club if we could get 6-7 good seasons out of Miller in the AFL outfit.

Ages as at 2025:

Balta 25yo Miller 25yo/Biggy 24yo Gibcus 22yo

Vlastuin 31yo/Brown 21yo Rioli 28yo Baker 27yo Ralphsmith 23yo


It would be nice to think that might be our 2025 backline set once Tarrant, Grimes and Broad have moved on. And you can see there where once Vlastuin retires who he can be replaced by as well.

We seem to have the high half forwards covered, in Graham and Clarke, possibly Sonsie, and rucks in Nank/Soldo. Small forwards in Rioli and hopefully Mansell. Mid/forward in Bolton. Wings Banks and Ross perhaps.

If it worked out that way it would leave us able to train all resources for the next 3 off seasons on getting in a couple of quality mids and key forwards.
 

sanaya

All Australian
Feb 26, 2017
904
4,224
AFL Club
Richmond
As mentioned he has the tools, but much like several young KPP's we have drafted over the years, he just seems like a nice guy.

I reckon to be a genuine KPB at AFL level, you need to have some level of campaigner in you.

Does he have any?
can't remember off the top of my head any exact moments but i believe 100% he has a good level of campaigner in him from the years i've watched

also i did miss the 2nd half of the vfl where the hawks steam rolled us, but in the first half ben miller was immense, and very offensive with his running and ball use, much better than tarrant was in the same game (who had 5 turnovers in his first 7 disposals that i can remember), but tarrant got the call up. and as much of a good bloke i think tarrant is, ben miller showed again vs essendon in the vfl how damaging offsenively he is as a defender. of course on top of that he can defend well but thats a non negotiable.

if we end up losing miller because we instead play tarrant and don't wanna waste our investment that'll be such a waste, or if we're playing tarrant because he is more experienced/has more leadership, well wtf do we have grimes, broad & vlastuin for? also miller was our stand in vfl captain during last year when morris wasn't playing (or whoever the captain was).

we literally have our future key position backline sorted for the next 8-10 years ready in balta, miller & gibcus (i also rate nyuon but it's clear gibcus is taking his role)
 

Meteoric Rise

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 4, 2008
5,113
13,717
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
can't remember off the top of my head any exact moments but i believe 100% he has a good level of campaigner in him from the years i've watched

also i did miss the 2nd half of the vfl where the hawks steam rolled us, but in the first half ben miller was immense, and very offensive with his running and ball use, much better than tarrant was in the same game (who had 5 turnovers in his first 7 disposals that i can remember), but tarrant got the call up. and as much of a good bloke i think tarrant is, ben miller showed again vs essendon in the vfl how damaging offsenively he is as a defender. of course on top of that he can defend well but thats a non negotiable.

if we end up losing miller because we instead play tarrant and don't wanna waste our investment that'll be such a waste, or if we're playing tarrant because he is more experienced/has more leadership, well wtf do we have grimes, broad & vlastuin for? also miller was our stand in vfl captain during last year when morris wasn't playing (or whoever the captain was).

we literally have our future key position backline sorted for the next 8-10 years ready in balta, miller & gibcus (i also rate nyuon but it's clear gibcus is taking his role)

I am not sure you have all of that right with Miller, but I do agree with most of what you say about him. In the second half with Tarrant off v Box Hill the backline functioned noticeably worse and Miller was beaten in some key contests when he failed to read the ball as quickly as his opponent, Callow, on at least one occasion, maybe 2 I think.

V Casey Miller was absolutely schooled by Tom McDonald, and it was the same issue, poor positioning, lack of assertion in the contest and not reading the ball in the air as early as his opponent. Hopefully there comes a time soon enough where Miller is a better key back than Tarrant, but I don’t think that is true right now. Tarrant was excellent last week v Peter Wright, and Hardwick sounds quite bullish about him playing a good role as the season progresses. I think what we are realistically hoping for from Miller is just that he keeps progressing his game and especially those areas of weakness that could be shockingly exposed at AFL level v the best key forwards. And then we want him genuinely overtaking Tarrant at some point.
 

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