IT'S been a long 15 months for Howlong coach David Miles. Miles last played for the Spiders as a 17-year-old in 2004 and was eager to don the jumper again before coronavirus wiped out the 2020 season. But the former North Albury captain says Howlong's preparation for next year is on track with plenty of new faces arriving. Miles spoke to The Border Mail this week about the club's prospects.
BRETT KOHLHAGEN: Training is underway at Howlong?
DAVID MILES: It's really good to be back training. We started back on November 5. It's a unique situation for players after not playing last year and preparation is going to be important. The response has been really positive. New players like Dylan Cook have been setting a strong standard. I think most blokes are just keen to get back to the club and have a run around with their mates.
BK: Howlong look to have put together a really good midfield . Who will you have in the rotations?
DM: We are fortunate to have some versatility through the middle. Matty McDonald and Ben Baker are proven performers through there. We can include strong bodies like Steve Fouracre and Clint Brunnenmeyer and have some good runners like Dylan Cook, Nick Sharp, Manny Hughes and Hamish Clark. We'd like to see plenty of guys go through the middle. Most grounds are quite large so I guess it depends on what we come up against as well.
BK: You didn't ring your brother, Anthony, after he retired from AFL did you?
DM: One of his best mates and one of our assistant coaches Toby Pargeter, and I certainly put the acid on him to play. I think Toby built fishing and camping trips into the package. I'm super proud of what he's been able to achieve. It's really great to have him home, we've really missed him. He will definitely make an appearance at training at some stage. He just doesn't know it yet.
BK: How are the new clubrooms coming along?
DM: Jason Kohn, Bill Longley and the whole committee have had a long term vision they committed too and the results are quite remarkable. Volunteers have put a power of work into the new complex. It's going to be a real pillar for the community and provide all sorts of opportunity for people in the Howlong area. It's really exciting about the gym and the possibilities it can provide.
BK: Ash Murray is a proven goalkicker in the Hume league. He will give you a target won't he?
DM: Any player who can kick over 100 goals is obviously very talented. He will be a terrific target and help straighten us up. We need to ensure that we have multiple avenues to goal, but I'm excited to welcome Ash to the 'Spides'.
BK: It's been a long time since you were appointed coach of Howlong. I imagine you are looking forward to that first game?
DM: It's been a real challenge for everyone this year. I think I've been in the role for 15 months and I've analysed things quite a lot. I'm really looking forward to putting things into action and running out with the boys. It makes you realise how much you miss the camaraderie.