Miller to lead new-look Sharks against Northern

By David Nagel Mornington’s Warwick Miller will lead a new-look MPNFL team into battle when the Sharks run out for the 2018 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships clash against Northern on Saturday. Miller (pictured, right, with coach Chris Holcombe) is one of just six players returning to the cut-and-thrust of interleague football from last year,... View Article

By David Nagel

Mornington’s Warwick Miller will lead a new-look MPNFL team into battle when the Sharks run out for the 2018 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships clash against Northern on Saturday.

Miller (pictured, right, with coach Chris Holcombe) is one of just six players returning to the cut-and-thrust of interleague football from last year, with Scott Macleod, Joel Miller, Kyle Hutchison, Christian Ongarello and Jackson Casey joining their new skipper for the vitally important clash at Preston City Oval.

The winner will hike to the number-two ranking in the state and take on either Geelong or Eastern for the coveted title of Victoria’s best league in 2019.

The two teams played for the same prize in 2016, with the MPNFL winning a high-quality contest by 30 points and earning a crack at Geelong at the MCG last year.

The Sharks had more scoring shots than Geelong but went down by 22 points in a hard-fought affair.

Miller, who grew up in Red Hill before moving to Rosebud and winning a premiership in 2007, had a stint with the Frankston Dolphins, took some time off for travel, before the making his move to Alexandra Park.

The 32-year-old said he was thrilled to be captaining the league, but suggested this is a team that could pretty much captain itself.

“It’s a great honour and something I’m very proud of, to captain a team of this quality is something pretty special,” Miller said.

“It’s a big responsibility but I’m a big believer in self-leadership and that everyone has to play their role for the team to be successful, so I’m no more important than anyone else. The expectation is that everyone commits and buys in and if we do that then I’m sure we will be successful.

“There are some great leaders in this group like Kyle (Hutchison), Chewy (Paul Scanlon) and Scotty Macleod and I’m sure we will all work together to try and get that end result.”

Miller said the interleague weekend was one of his favourites on the football calendar.

“It’s almost like playing VFL again, it’s a really good standard, very enjoyable socially, and it’s great to catch up during the home and away season and reflect on the experience,” he said.

“Any rep game is a highlight, sure, we play for the team highlights, but having the opportunity to play interleague again is always a thrill, the captaincy just makes it a little more special.”

The new skipper was hoping a new-breed of youngsters would catapult the Sharks back into the number-one game next year.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces this year, with more leg speed, which is a big plus, and we will move the footy quickly and get it down to Keegan Downie, Jacko Calder, and Luke Hewitt, who has a bit of X-factor about him,“ he said.

“As for the win, I really hope so, we have the potential and the capacity but now it’s about making sure we perform on the day and getting the opportunity again in 2019.”

Picture: Gary Bradshaw/GameFace

MATCH DAY SCHEDULE
Venue: Preston City Oval, Cramer St, Preston
10am Under 19s Northern FNL v MPNFL Sharks
12noon Women’s Northern FNL v South Eastern
2pm Seniors Northern FNL v MPNFL Sharks
MPNFL SENIOR SQUAD
No NAME CLUB
1 Steve Mannix Edithvale-Aspendale
2 Christian Ongarello Frankston YCW
3 Damien Rayson Seaford
4 Nick Carlon Edithvale-Aspendale
5 Lachlan Batten Edithvale-Aspendale
6 Keegan Downie Rosebud
7 Michael Debenham Frankston YCW
8 Jackson Casey Bonbeach
9 Sean Downie Rosebud
10 Dylan Jones Bonbeach
11 Kyle Hutchison (vc) Frankston YCW
12 Brenton Credlin Frankston YCW
13 Warwick Miller © Mornington
14 James Brigden Sorrento
15 Scott Mcleod (vc) Frankston YCW
16 Jackson Calder Mornington
17 Jason Kingsbury Frankston Bombers
18 Lachlan Wallace Frankston YCW
19 Joel Miller Mornington
20 Luke Hewitt Hastings
22 Paul Scanlon Pines
26 Ethan Johnstone Dromana
32 Lachlan Street Frankston YCW
37 Sam Fox Frankston Bombers