22/04/2024
Wayne Milera is now in the leadership group. Picture: Daniel Cohen

Wayne Milera is now in the leadership group. Picture: Daniel Cohen

Wayne Milera is prepared to bring his reserved approach to leadership as the Crows granted opportunities for four new faces.

Milera will join Lachie Murphy, Mitch Hinge, and Darcy Fogarty in an extended leadership setup for the 2024 season.

Somewhat surprised by the decision, Milera showed the utmost gratitude for all that have helped him on his AFL journey so far.

“Its a privilege to be voted by your peers, they see you as a leader and they want you in that group,” he said.

“It definitely surprised me, I always had interest in doing it but it was just whether I had the votes from the group.

It’s clear that leadership was never truly in the forefront of Milera’s mind, but rather it was a realisation of seniority that changed his perception of his abilities.

“I had a bit of a moment last year where we had Smithers (Brodie Smith) go down, and I sort of found myself looking around the back line and I was the oldest one there,” he said.

“I found that game one I had to stand up a little bit and that’s sort of where I started to think that maybe leadership is something I can do.”

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It is well known that Milera is not a loquacious, extroverted individual, however he insisted that leadership looks different to different people, and can come in many forms.

“Leadership is all different kinds of things, it’s not just being the most vocal and whatnot, so leading in my owns ways is what I’ll be doing.”

“I feel like I’ve got genuine care for the group, just getting around, being positive.”

A proud Narungga, Gunditjmara and Wotjobalu man, Milera will be the Crows first Indigenous leader since Eddie Betts.

“It’s special but it’s nothing, it just brings that point of view and can help the group connect to that side of things.”

A luckless run of hamstring troubles is a large reason as to why Milera has racked up only 96 games since being drafted in 2015.

Unfortunately, those issues haven’t completely gone away just yet, nonetheless, he is optimistic that 2024 can be injury-free campaign.

“My hammy is good, I won’t play this week but I’ll have a decent session on Friday to get ready for next week,” he said.

“It’s something you learn to just deal with, it’s part of footy, you get injured and just work your way through it.

“I had little niggle before Christmas and then I pretty much just did the same thing when I returned.

“Listen to the professionals and they’ll get you right, I’m getting towards the end of it and I’m starting to feel really good.”

Adelaide held an internal trial in Port Lincoln on Friday and will play Port Adelaide at Alberton on Friday evening.

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