Round 13 QAFL Rising Star nominee: Harry Milford

Playing as a 17 year old in the QAFL is tough, playing well in the QAFL as a 17 year old against one of the best teams going around is even more difficult, but the round 13 Rising Star nominee, Harry Milford, has done just that.

The UQ small forward was a magnet to the ball in the forward 50 on the weekend in the Red Lions’ game against Morningside.

He pressured, he tackled, he won his own footy, and he used it well, but Milford said he was just doing what the team required.

“I just really tried to focus on playing my role, and the rest just kind of followed after. I didn’t go out to play for myself, I went out to play for the team and to stick to the structures,” Milford said.

Balancing your final year of school and footballing commitments takes a lot of dedication. Throw in a six-hour round car trip just to get to training, and his commitment levels are through the roof.

Milford, who lives in Dolby, made the move to UQ last year to test himself against some of the states best.

“After playing in Dolby, I wanted to test my ability a little bit more, so I went out looking for clubs, and AFLQ Darling Downs Regional Manager, Keith Webb, suggested UQ was a good club to go to, because they are in the building process, and I’m hoping to go university at there next year,”

“It’s not too bad, I get a bit of sleep on the way down, but you’ve just got to be really organised with your schoolwork to make sure you have got the time to come down.”

His parents, who have also made sacrifices to make sure he gets to training and the games, have been behind him all the way, and they are the ones who he goes out to play for each weekend.

“I owe playing good footy to them; otherwise it’s a waste. They love me playing footy down in Brisbane, they just love their footy as well,”

Last Saturday wasn’t a once off for Milford. He has been a shining light in the UQ forward line all year.

“I’ve seen myself improve a lot this year and just adapt. Last year was my first year in the QAFL and I found it pretty tough, it was hard footy,”

“This year I feel that I can build on each performance and get better and better.”

His versatility, his ability to find a way to get himself into a game no matter how things are going, and they way in which he can influence a contest are what sets him apart.

“I try and find way where I can impact the game elsewhere. If I find that I’m not getting many touches then maybe I can affect the game in another way by getting tackles and forcing turnovers. If I’m getting out marked then to try and get up the field a little bit more, just constantly adapting my game depending on who I am playing on,”

The future is very bright for this youngster, who wants to keep improving for UQ before looking to play his footy anywhere else.

“I just want to keep playing for UQ and keep building each season, but my dream would be to maybe get the chance to play at a NEAFL level and see where that takes me.”

Milford will be in action for UQ again next weekend, when the take on Sandgate at home, on Sunday August at 2:00pm.

By Andrew Wiles@andrewjwiles

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