Gryan Miers was one of the biggest surprise packets of the TAC Cup season, emerging as a dangerous goalsneak who helped lead the Geelong Falcons to the 2017 premiership.
The 177cm 18-year-old booted seven goals in Geelong’s two-point flag triumph over the Sandringham Dragons to claim the medal for best-on-ground in the Grand Final. He ended the year with a competition-high 50 majors from 17 matches while averaging 17 disposals and four tackles per game, with his performances seeing him named in the TAC Cup Team of the Year.
A Grovedale and Torquay (both AFL Barwon) product, Miers also made four appearances for Vic Country at the NAB AFL U18 Championships, averaging 18 disposals and five marks per game playing more through the midfield.
nableague.com.au spoke to Myers at the recent NAB AFL Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft on Friday November 24.
What strengths of yours have you been using to sell yourself to AFL clubs?
- I think I’m a smart footballer. I know the game really well and I can read the play well. Also my endurance and decision-making – they’re definitely keys to my football ability.
What is the strangest question you’ve been asked by AFL club recruiters?
- I got one asking if I’d drive through a red light if my mate (and Falcons teammate) Cassidy Parish had a broken leg and was screaming next to me. He lives out in the bush, so if I was out there with him I probably would, but if not then definitely not.
What parts of your game do you know you’ll need to work on if you’re drafted?
- Definitely my short speed. I haven’t got a good 20m sprint time. Also defensive pressure – I want that to be at an elite level.
Which AFL players do you particularly like to watch and model your game on?
- I get compared to Luke Dahlhaus (Western Bulldogs) a bit, so I like to see his strengths and what he uses. I try to take a bit from all types of different players and one I mostly take things off is Gary Ablett (Gold Coast), seeing as he’s the best at my height.
How would you assess your 2017 season?
- It was very exciting. I didn’t expect that much out of myself and kick 50 goals and win a premiership. I can’t really complain about much.
What expectations did you have for yourself at the start of the year?
- I basically just went week by week. Firstly I wanted to make the Falcons team. I wasn’t a lock in the team at the start of the year, and then it was about playing well and staying in the team. By the time we made it to Vic Country, I was trying to make that team and then after that, winning a premiership in the TAC Cup.
What do you think was your best individual performance of the TAC Cup season?
- I’d have to say the Grand Final (seven goals from 16 disposals in a two-point win against the Sandringham Dragons). Everything was coming my way. I felt every time I got a chance (in front of goal) I was taking the opportunity.
Which TAC Cup opponents caught your eye or were particularly difficult to play on this year?
- One that was really difficult to play on when we played the GWV Rebels (in Round 14) was Flynn Appleby. He wore me like a glove and I couldn’t get a touch on him (10 disposals for the match). He was going everywhere I went – even to the bench, and every time I stood up he was following me.
Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your football in the TAC Cup?
- In my first year (in the TAC Cup) I had Andy Allthorpe as my coach and he really emphasised defensive pressure as a small forward. I think as a kid I was always running forward and didn’t really care about running backwards; I just wanted to get goals and disposals. He really emphasised getting defensive pressure up and that’s how I got into the team last year. This year Daniel O’Keefe took on Andy’s role completely. He was unbelievable as a coach and a mentor.
Talk about why you think your teammates at the Draft Combine are so highly rated.
- Ethan Floyd, David Handley, Matthew Ling, Tom McCartin and James Worpel: We’re all natural footballers. Matt is an unbelievable runner with pace but he’s still a really good footballer. James was an unbelievable leader this year on and off the field. He took all the grunt work as an inside midfielder and would just take hits for the team and didn’t care. Me and David have been like two best mates in the forward line this year.
Who do you think will be pick no.1 at the NAB AFL Draft?
- I think it’ll be Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays).
THE FAST FIVE with Gryan Miers
What food could you not live without?
If you weren’t possibly about to become a full-time footballer, what would be your dream job?
- Recruiting footballers.
What karaoke song would you sing to save your life?
- ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber.
Which teammate would you want to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
- Dane Hollenkamp, because he’s intelligent and he’s a really close mate of mine.
Which teammate would you not want to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
- David Handley, because he’s a bit scrappy and I couldn’t trust him out there.