A HECTIC footy season for Bendigo Pioneers young gun Isaiah Miller keeps on rolling.
Miller’s build-up to the AFL national draft camp in Melbourne on October 1-4 includes playing for Bendigo Gold in Friday night’s VFL clash with Geelong at the QEO.
It will be his second game for Gold and he will be joined by Pioneers clubmates Liam Byrne from South Bendigo and Jacob Chisari from South Mildura in his VFL debut.
Miller’s year kicked off with a two-week trek across England with the AIS-AFL Academy.
The Academy took on Collingwood in a practice match at the MCG and then played European Legion in London.
“Being in the AIS-AFL Academy has helped in so many ways,” Miller said.
Sessions have covered nutrition, recovery, mental toughness, skills and more.
Selection for the draft camp was based on being nominated by at least five AFL clubs.
A battery of workouts for the AFL hopefuls includes the beep test, vertical leap, endurance runs, and skills.
Miller’s play for the Pioneers in the TAC Cup under-18s action earned selection in Victoria Country’s team for this year’s AFL national under-18 championships.
He played four of five matches, mainly off a half-back flank, for the Mark Ellis-coached Victoria Country.
As the season has rolled on Miller’s versatility was to the fore from a wing or in attack.
“There have been a lot of areas to work at,’’ Miller said.
“I’ve focused a lot on my contested game and leadership.”
Miller’s footy career began with St Therese’s in the under-12C competition when he was nine.
The family later moved to the Sunshine Coast before Miller was back in Bendigo at age 15 and playing for Kennington-Sandhurst.
A year later he played for Sandhurst.
Miller represented the Pioneers in under-15 and under-16 championships and played the final two games of the 2011 TAC Cup under-18s season for the club.
The Pioneers have also linked up with Bendigo Senior Secondary College through its specialist sports program the past two years.
“It’s a great program,” said Miller.
Sessions are run with Pioneers coach David Newett on Tuesday mornings and then there’s Thursday’s weights session in the BSSC gym.