Adelaide defender Wayne Milera says 2023 has been the best season of his AFL career to date.
Arriving at the Club as a first round draft selection in 2015, the 25-year-old has been cruelled by injuries over his eight seasons at West Lakes, averaging just 11.8 matches per season.
But this season, Milera has found continuity in his game and thrived, and averaged an impressive 19.3 disposals, 4.3 marks and 311.1 metres gained per match.
Now set to play 20 games in a season for the first time in his career, Milera said he was excited to be able to tick off the milestone.
“It is definitely something I’m aware of, this being the first time (I’ve played 20 in a season) and it being my eighth year,” Milera told the media on Tuesday.
“It’s a good thing for me to tick this off, the big thing for me this year has just been my ability to continue playing really.
“There’s been a little bit around my recovery stuff (I’ve changed) that has made me pull up well throughout the year.
“I’ve always believed I can play at the level and play it well and having that continuity, I feel this has been my best year.”
With injuries decimating the Crows backline in recent weeks, Milera has stepped as a leader of the defensive unit.
He said he has enjoyed the responsibility and working with the impressive group of young players that have come in to fill the void.
“It’s been really good, a lot of the boys (that have come in) have played a lot of footy together in the SANFL so they have been great to work with,” Milera said.
“It shows our depth that even after being struck down by injury with our key backs, guys like Keaney, Boz and Worrell have been able to come straight in and play a role.
“I’m not surprised they have come in and performed, they’ve all played great footy in the SANFL for a long time and that has just translated over to the AFL.”
Next on the agenda for Milera and the Crows is a trip to Brisbane to face the second-placed Lions.
He said the key to success this weekend would be “keeping it simple.”
“We just need to do the same stuff we do here at Adelaide Oval and keep it as simple as possible,” he said.
“We are still a really young group, and some of us might be still finding our way on what to do on away trips, but we are confident we can bring our best footy and take it up to Brisbane this weekend.”
Adelaide faces Brisbane this Saturday at the GABBA, with the first bounce at 4.05pm (ACST).
Ahead of next weekend’s home clash with Sydney, secure your 2024 Membership for $1 and get access to the Crows’ last home game of the season.