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Miller a gold prospect

From Kalgoorlie to Richmond Get to know our new tall Tiger from WA, Ben Miller.

It’s fitting that Richmond recruit Ben Miller hails from the Western Australian gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie because the Tigers might just have struck gold with their late selection of him in the 2017 AFL national draft.

Miller, a tall utility, who was Richmond’s fifth and final pick – No. 63 overall – shapes as a draft bargain.

He played senior football with local Kalgoorlie team, Railways, at just 15 years of age, and has made significant progress since then.

In 2015, he was selected in the WA State under-16s Academy; the following year he made his debut with WAFL club Subiaco’s colts team.

VIDEO: Pick 63, Ben Miller

And, throughout what was an extremely hectic 2017 season, Miller shone.

He managed to combine studying in his final school year in Kalgoorlie with playing local football there, as well as the constant lengthy travel to Perth to play for the Subiaco colts.

So impressive were his performances at colts level, he was chosen in the WA squad for the 2017 under-18 national championships.

Miller showcased his excellent athleticism and all-round ability during all four games at the carnival.

Playing as a ruckman/forward, he had the most hit-outs for WA, the fourth most tackles, the fifth most clearances and seventh most contested possessions.

He then finished the season superbly back in Kalgoorlie, as best-on-ground for Railways in their Goldfields Football League grand final victory.

At the post-season AFL draft combine, Miller finished equal first in the agility test, equal first in the goalkicking test (with a perfect score of 30 out of 30 shots for goal), and equal fourth in the 20-metre spring.

 Subiaco colts coach Beau Wardman provided a good insight into Miller’s growth as a player and his potential.

“Ben’s development throughout 2017 has been huge,” Wardman said.

“He’s extremely dedicated, managing travel commitments with living in Kalgoorlie and often training in isolation.  

“Ben has great athleticism for a big man, and he gave great service to his teammates through his improved ruckwork.

“He also showed he has the ability to turn a game, with his goal sense and overhead marking.

“Ben is a really impressive kid. He’s a confident, young man with great character and care for his peers.

“His willingness to learn, and then implement, is why he has been so successful this year, and only better things are on the horizon for him.”

Subiaco talent manager Michael Farmer was similarly positive about Miller’s football prospects.

“Ben showed great commitment this year with his commute from Kalgoorlie to Perth for training and games,” Farmer said.

“For his age and size, we think Ben is an elite prospect for the next level, who can really grow into a premier big man.

“Great skills and great athleticism for his size, he has the tools to make an impact at the next level.

“He is a tough, strong presence in the ruck, and presents well when forward. And his second, third and fourth efforts are outstanding for a big man.”