By PETER ARGENT
Athletic big man Todd Miles is looking to lead his foundation club, Hamley Bridge, back to premiership glory in season 2022.
Miles’ football journey has been full of grit and determination, overcoming a number of obstacles and roadblocks to get the best out of himself.
“After a couple of tough years at Goolwa-Port Elliott and dealing with Covid issues and with the change in our family dynamic, it was the right time to go back to Hamley Bridge,” Miles told SANFL.com.au.
“My wife Kellie had our first child, son Noah, five months ago.
“The boys (at the club) have been in my ear for a couple of seasons.
“I’m looking to help them get back to finals footy.
“Whilst I may not be the marquee player in the team any more, I still love the game and have plenty of pride in my performance.”
As a teenager, Miles played for the Adelaide Plains Bombers as wing/half-back, enjoying the fruits of his work by playing in the 2004 Adelaide Plains Football League premiership amongst three consecutive Grand Finals.
He moved across to the Mintaro-Manoora Eagles in the neighboring North Eastern competition in 2006.
In his breakthrough 2008 campaign, after previously being the SA Country Championship’s Best Under 21 player, Miles was named Player of the Championships in the Riverland, won the NEFL chief media award, the Barracker Coaches Footballer of the Year accolade and was a leading player in the Eagles’ Grand Final victory over the RSMU Hawks.
At this stage of his career, Miles had developed into a lean and athletic ruckman/key position player.
''Whilst I may not be the marquee player in the team any more, I still love the game and have plenty of pride in my performance.''
At his third attempt to play SANFL League Football, second stint at Woodville West Torrens after also playing reserves footballer at Port Adelaide,
In round one of the 2009 SANFL season, Miles made his League debut for Woodville-West Torrens against Central at the Ponderosa – his third attempt given he had previously played with the Eagles Reserves and Port Adelaide’s seconds.
“I felt I was reasonably consistent across the first two years at Oval Avenue, but the coach had other ideas and suggested I look at other options,” Miles mused.
“I moved across to Prospect (North Adelaide), went on to captain the team in the 2013 Grand Final and played state football in 2014.”
After 41 league appearances in the green, gold and blue, Miles added 92 games for the Roosters across five seasons, shared the role of skipper with Greg Gallman in 2014 and also won the prestigious Barrie Robran Medal, North Adelaide’s best and fairest, in 2013.
He then co-coached the Barossa District side, with Alan Obst, taking over from SA Football Hall of Famer, Roger James.
They took the Doggies to the Barossa, Light and Gawler flag in 2016, with Miles winning Coach of the Year honours in 2017 – with the club enjoying back-to-back success.
Miles also captained the SA country team to a win over WA Country on Adelaide Oval.
A broken collarbone was supposed to finish his second campaign at the kennel, but Miles showed plenty of intestinal fortitude, defying medical opinion to get back during that finals campaign.
His ability and determination came to the fore again, winning the Hurn Medal in a best-on-ground performance in the Bulldogs’ win over Kapunda on Nuriootpa Oval.
Through his friendship with Matt Campbell, Miles would also play in the NTFL premier league with the Darwin Buffaloes.
This included the infamous 2017-18 season Northern Territory Football League Grand Final, which was moved to a Wednesday after a cyclone hit Darwin on the Saturday afternoon the decider was scheduled.
In a heart-breaking loss, the Buffaloes were defeated by the Shannon Rusca-coached Southern Districts side by the smallest of margins, losing 13.8 (86) to 13.7 (85).
After four years of finals participation with the Barossa Bulldogs, Miles took the coaching role in the Great Southern competition with Goolwa-Port Elliott.
Still at the top of his game, on the 2021 July long-weekend he delivered a best-on-ground performance in annual the Great Southern versus Southern League interleague contest.
His work ethic, desire to deliver the best from himself, makes Miles a great leader and a perfect role model for his team to get behind.
Former North Adelaide footballer and RSMU Hawks premiership ruckman Justin Schahinger also is returning to his home club, along with Henry McCabe, the oldest son of 2005 Jack Oatey Medal winner and current SA Football Commissioner, Luke McCabe.
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