A Diamond In The Rough Or An Utter Bust?
by Nicki Boy
When you say the name Touk Miller, not many people if any at all will even have the slightest clue of what you’re talking about. Is he a Socceroo? A relative to the great Colin ‘funky’ Miller? Those that do know Touk will probably laugh about the time he was a rookie on their fantasy bench in 2015 and say, “oh yeah he was pretty good bench cover”.
But I’m here today to tell you that Touk Miller is arguably one of the most exciting prospects entering in to the 2017 season. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. Thinking that Touk can be an integral part of any Supercoach side in 2017 seems ludicrous looking at his surface. It’s when we strip it back and chisel away at the statistics surrounding Touk’s game do we really start to see the makings of a potential scoring machine.
|Games last season:||18|
|Average last season:||78.8|
|100+ games last season:||6|
|Sub 80 games last season:||9|
|Price range last season:||$293K – $486K|
|Missed games last season:||
Taking a look at the above is bitterly disappointing. But Touk Miller’s 2016 can be broken in to two parts.
During this period of time Touk averaged:
- 33% midfield time
- 16.2 disposals
- 3.8 tackles
- 59.2 Supercoach points
Being stuck in the forward line really hindered Touk’s scoring output. Being a running machine and work horse he couldn’t wear his direct opponent down and gather possessions as we were a custom to in his first year. Also, some minor niggling injuries made any kind of consistency scarce.
During this period of time Touk averaged:
- 91% midfield time
- 27.9 disposals
- 6.3 tackles
- 103.1 Supercoach points
With the Suns midfield decimated it was time for Touk to deliver. When given the opportunity Touk seized it with both hands and put his hand up for a full-time role in the guts come 2017. His ability to find the ball matched with his pace and endurance had the opposition blind-sided. He also became one of Rodney Rocket Eades’ go to men with Aaron Hall falling out of favour.
A risk regarding Touk Miller is his midfield time. Can he hold down a permanent position in the midfield?
Before I go any further it has been two years since the Gold Coast Suns were truly at full strength. There is a lot of what ifs surrounding who will play where and so we must keep an open mind whilst viewing what’s ahead.
On the surface the signs do not look good with the Suns going and collecting Hanley, Barlow and Lyons through the trade period and collecting another four midfielders who all fell within the top 10.
They also still have an Ablett (God’s son), Aaron Hall and David Swallow if he ever wants to get healthy again.
But there is a counter argument to this. The retirement of Malceski will most likely see Hanley being the rebound defender limiting midfield time. Hall at times was out of favour with Rocket and maybe overlooked and stuck somewhere else. As for Lyons, he will come through the midfield at stages but could be playing more of a forward flanker role as Adelaide designed for him.
The game is well past Barlow as a midfielder with the need of run and gun players to match the pace of the modern game and the rookies will be slowly fed in to the Suns system with a whole lot of forward line action for the likes of Ainsworth.
Another problem Touk faces is disposal efficiency. 61.8% (2016) is not good enough and will need to improve to 67.5%> for a real surge of scoring to come his way. This will be made easier if the Gold Coast Suns can in fact remain healthy and have a consistent side on the park each week.
Despite two strong seasons, Touk Miller is worried about holding his spot. https://t.co/M7kgvo6qAA
— AFL (@AFL) December 3, 2016
With bugger all good DPP options in the forward line in 2017, you’re looking for Touk to break out and become a 95+ averaging player to make some cash and hold down some residence up front.
As explained by Jock in the article “Identifying the Next Supercoach Beast”, players will generally break out in the 3rd or 4th year of AFL footy. Touk is in his 3rd year and is primed and ready to do so as he’s played 40 games and pending to explode in 2017.
What also sounds appetising is the fact that Touk called out both Prestia and O’Meara for leaving the club. It may not seem like much but for Touk to call out two of the more premiere players of the competition shows that he has a lot of support behind him from the club and their belief in his ability. This could suggest a more significant role for Touk in 2017.
- Coming in to a third year (break out season)
- In favour with the coach and becoming a more respected individual amongst the playing group
- A DPP who is a ball magnet and tackling beast when given adequate midfield time.
Will be competing with quality players for a midfield spot
Poor disposal efficiency at 61.8% in 2016
Touk is an exciting prospect heading in to 2017, depending on some variables being in his favour. Do your due-diligence on him and track his preseason and more importantly his role whilst playing in the preseason games.
To make it simple if he plays good midfield time (which I expect) pick him. If he doesn’t, move on to the next option.
What’s your call on Touk Miller in 2017?
Have a chat with Nicki Boy on Twitter: @Nick_Wealands
|This article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.|
Touk Miller Community Poll: