A humble Wayde Mills has been nominated for the Syd Guilford Trophy for his performance in round 11.
The former Brisbane Lions player believes he didn’t do anything special and praised his Labrador teammates in what he described as an all-round good team win over Mt Gravatt.
The halfback, who arrived at Labrador this year, has been a general for the side directing traffic and setting up the Tigers by foot.
“I was impressed with the pressure we put on with our tackling around the stoppages, and making sure the ball didn’t come in too cleanly for the opposition,” Mills said.
“We were very physical and the constant pressure we put on opened up the game in the last quarter.”
Mills believes the Tigers improved form is because they are finally starting to gel as a team.
“We are starting to switch the ball a lot more and get it to the open side. Our ball movement has been getting better, and better since the start of the year,” he said.
“We have 12 new players from last year’s grand final team. It always takes a while to get everyone playing well together.”
“The time we are spending together is improving us, and we are starting to play as a unit in the back-line.”
28-year-old Mills has been on a full circle AFL journey.
He began playing his juniors for the Coolangatta Blues before he moved to Southport at age 16.
From there he was drafted to the Brisbane Lions in 2005, playing 16 games, before his AFL career ended.
Mills played a season with SANFL club Glenelg, before returning to the Gold Coast.
He was playing for Southport before moving to reigning premiers Labrador, at the start of this year.
Mills and Labrador are aiming for a strong finish to the season with their change in form leading to a reassessment of their goals.
“At the start of the year we were just focusing on each week. We are now aiming for a top 3 spot, so that we can get a chance at a week off, and a good run in the finals,” Mills said.
“The coach was pretty happy after the game. We were a bit flat in the first half but he thought the second half was a lot better. The pressure and overall performance was good.”
Labrador will look to continue to move up the ladder when they host last placed University of Queensland this Saturday, at 2pm.
By Josh Martin