Anthony Miles reflects on a massive AFL grand final week at Richmond

CRAZY WEEK: Anthony Miles has fully embraced the experience of grand final week at Richmond. Picture: JULIAN SMITH
CRAZY WEEK: Anthony Miles has fully embraced the experience of grand final week at Richmond. Picture: JULIAN SMITH

The build-up to Richmond’s first AFL grand final since 1982 has been eventful to say the least.

But for Border football export Anthony Miles, being within the inner sanctum at Tigerland in the biggest week for the club in recent history, has been an experience like no other.

While Miles won’t be running out against the Crows in the decider, he can’t help but feel he’s part of something special.

“I’ve played in a couple of finals with Richmond, but I suppose the buzz for the first couple of weeks from finishing in the top four was huge for us,” Miles said.

“After the prelim last week (against GWS), Swan Street nearly shut down.

“I was just walking to my car the other day and there was kids waiting out the front to see players.

“It’s pretty cool and pretty special.

In excess of 10,000 supporters turned out for Richmond’s last open training session before the grand final on Friday, but Miles believes the Tigers haven’t been distracted by the hype.

“It always helps when you’re winning, but you hear about the highs and lows of AFL footy,” Miles said.

“We’ve tried not to ride those highs and lows as much this year and I think it’s really worked for us.

“If we lose, we don’t ride the lows and if we have a good win, we haven’t gone overboard with it, which has held us in pretty good stead this year.”

Richmond’s impeccable run with injuries hasn’t helped Miles’ chances of a recall to the side, as well as its depth in the midfield with the addition of Dion Prestia and Josh Caddy.

Miles last played in the Tigers’ round 20 victory against Hawthorn, just his fifth senior game of the season

“It’s certainly been a different year for me,” he said.

“The good thing for the club is we’re winning, but individually they don’t tend to change the side much when they’re going well.

“I didn’t feel I was too far away, but we’ve only got one injury on our whole list, which has probably never been seen before coming into a grand final.

“I’m pretty envious of the blokes that will get to run out on Saturday, it will be interesting to see how we go.

“It will be great to see some of my best mates hopefully experience winning a grand final, I’m looking forward to it just as much as anyone.

“Adelaide are in really good form and so are we, so it should be a really good game.”

However, Miles still got to enjoy plenty of success at VFL level with Richmond making the grand final and losing a thriller to Port Melbourne.

“It was heartbreaking because we’d done so much hard work to get there and we didn’t have a double chance,” Miles said.

“It was a pretty good feel around the whole club after winning the prelim the night before, but to go down with the final kick was pretty disappointing.

“We’ve all tried to keep ourselves up for this week, obviously it’s a huge week for the club, so that has been the main aim.”

Miles is yet to determine whether he will be in yellow and black next season.

“I’m out of contract next year and I’ve said all along I’ll get through to the end of the year and see what happens from there,” he said.

“Richmond is going really well and it’s a good place to be around at the moment so I’d love to stay here.”