It was a special day for Wayne Milera Junior on Saturday as he made his return from injury during one of the most significant rounds in the AFL calendar.

He made his mark on the game with three goals from 16 disposals, but it wasn’t enough as a disappointing second term saw Adelaide go down to reigning premier West Coast by 12 points.

MATCH REPORT: Crows fall short

Post-game, it was evident how disheartened the young Crow was to see his side fall short in Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted at all, we weren’t consistent enough across the whole four quarters,” Milera told AFC Media.

“We dropped off in that second half with our pressure around the ball so a lack of consistency was the main message.”

Milera attributed his impact on the scoreboard to his efforts in other areas around the ground.

“It’s great to get reward [on the scoreboard] for doing the other stuff like tackling and chasing so it was good to get on the end of a couple,” he said.

His second major was a classy finish to the impressive set-up work of Eddie Betts, a player Milera idolised growing up.

“Obviously I grew up watching him so to be out there playing with him now and in such a big round is so special,” he said.

“I still love watching him play as much as everyone else does.”

Despite the result, the 21-year-old was still proud to pulled on the Andrew McLeod designed guernsey on his back and a unique pair of boots on his feet.

To Milera, family is everything and having his boots painted in the lead up to Sir Doug Nicholls Round presented an opportunity for him to pay homage to those who mean the most. 

“I have a mate that does dot painting and street art who reached out earlier in the week asking if I wanted my boots painted and I said certainly,” he said.

“The [design] meant warriors coming to a meeting place to play football, with all the support of family and friends behind them.”