FORMER Howlong junior Anthony Miles couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate person to present him with the JJ Liston Trophy for the VFL’s best and fairest player.
Miles, who tied with former Lavington and Murray Bushrangers star Michael Gibbons on Monday night, was presented the top gong by last year’s winner and Richmond teammate Jacob Townsend.
“It was really cool to have my one of my best mates present me with the medal,” Miles, 26, said.
“He's actually MC at my wedding in a couple of months.
“It was pretty special.
“It was a real honour to win it with ‘Gibbo’ (Gibbons) too, humbling for sure.
“I said last night that being on an AFL list I didn’t set out to play as much VFL footy as I have this year but Craig McRae always preaches that when you play VFL don’t be a VFL player but an AFL player.
“I think I’ve been able to do that.
“It’s something I will reflect on later in life.”
Miles averaged 30 disposals, 14 contested possessions, 7.5 clearances, 5.5 inside 50s and a goal per game in a sensational season in the VFL.
It was Gibbons’ second Liston Trophy in the past three years playing for Williamstown.
Miles and Gibbons, 23, finished three votes clear of Collingwood’s Alex Woodward and Werribee’s Sam Collins.
The Border pair were level on 19 votes going into the final round with both players racking up about 30 possessions.
“We had pretty similar numbers and I thought both of us might have polled but neither of us did,” he said.
“It was quite funny.
“It was good to share it with ‘Gibbo’.
“He had an outstanding year and hopefully he can get a chance at AFL level in a couple of months because he’s had another great year.”
Gibbons was recently praised by former Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos, saying he should be given a chance at the highest level.
The popular Miles will continue to train with Richmond in hope of being called up by the Tigers for a preliminary or possible grand final berth.
“We are still in it so I’m probably holding on to a slim hope that I can play a part in the prelim or hopefully grand final side,” he said.
“That’s the plan.”
Miles has only played six matches in the last two seasons for Richmond’s AFL side following the arrival of Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia and was recently linked to Gold Coast.
His brother, David, is captain of North Albury.