Forced to spend the first half of the 2020 Toyota AFL Season on the sidelines with injury, SUNS midfielder Anthony Miles isn’t letting the time slip idly by.
As he continues to rehabilitate an injured pectoral muscle sustained in the gym, Miles has turned to an off-field coaching position on the bench on game-days.
“I was put on the long-term injury list and that’s allowed me to go onto the bench for some coaching opportunities,” Miles told SUNS Media.
“If I wanted to get into coaching post-career, Stuey (Dew) and Jon (Haines) thought it would be a good idea to give me a little bit of exposure to that.
“Basically I’m connected to the coaches up in the box and then they relay messages to me on the bench for me to pass onto players when they come off the ground.
“I found that very beneficial in the couple of Marsh Community Series games just listening to some of the messages that come down from Stuey and the midfield coaches.”
The role is different to anything Miles has experienced in his career so far, but it’s one he’s embraced fully.
“It’s been good, we’ve had two wins which makes it really enjoyable and I guess in the Marsh games the stakes aren’t as high so the pressure of being on the bench and relaying the coaches messaging isn’t as urgent as it will be come Round 1,” he said.
“I’ll be doing that role until I can get back and play so I’m hoping that’s not too long.
“But it keeps me involved and keeps me around the group as well, travelling interstate was great to stay connected with the playing group.
“It’s only a small taste of the coaching side of things but I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
Coaching is one of a number of options Miles is considering post-career.
He’s also shown an interested in welfare and is in the final year of completing a teaching degree.
“Hopefully I won’t have to worry about what comes post footy for another three to four years but it’s great to get this experience now,” Miles said.
“I’m not 100% sure yet what I’d like to do, I’m also doing a little bit with Shaun Hart, Matt Kennedy and Darren Rumble in the welfare space.
“I think it’s always good to keep your options open.
“As we know it’s really competitive to get into the coaching and welfare industry post-footy so it’s great work experience in a way.”
“I’d obviously love to be playing and my main priority is to continue my rehab and get back out playing as quickly as possible.
“But on the flip-side, it keeps me engaged and is a way to keep positive in an otherwise pretty ordinary situation for myself.”
Miles will miss the start of the 2020 season but is expected to be available mid-year.