Q&A: Nyalli Milne (Suns Academy)

EXPLOSIVE top-ager Nyalli Milne is an eye-catching player with plenty of upside. We spoke with the Bond University and Burleigh Bombers talent at the recent Queensland Preseason Testing Day about her journey, game, hopes and dreams for the future.

Q: Nyalli, tell us about your footy journey?

NM: “I started back in primary school, I was kind of roped into the school team in Year 6 and then from there I just started joining the Academies and joined club at Burleigh Bombers and went from there.”

Q: Have you gone for the Suns your whole life?

NM: “Yeah just the local teams, Brisbane Lions and Suns.”

Q: Opportunities playing rep footy with Suns, have you trained with the senior girls as well?

NM: “Yeah, it’s been really good having that exposure to the professional level and them setting the standards and showing us how it’s done, that’s been pretty impressive.”

Q: With regards to your own game where do you expect to play this year and where do you play your best footy?

NM: “I think I play my best footy in centre half-forward, but I’ve had exposure at half-back and I enjoyed running off there. I would see myself as a forward. Hopefully can play some good footy there.”

Q: What do you see as the strengths in your game?

NM: “I like to think speed and agility and also defensive pressure as a forward and I think I’m pretty good at making aerial contests even as a medium forwards. Just my A2 positioning like crumbing.”

Q: How about the improvements you’re trying to make?

NM: “Definitely my endurance. Four-quarter endurance, and I think just my game smarts and just being able to know what position I should be in, where I can get the next ball, where I can get the ball more often and get more touches off that.”

Q: Are there any players you look up to to mould your own game on?

NM: “I like watching Chloe Molloy and Courtney Hodder. Just watching Courtney Hodder having that speed and being able to crumb as well as she can and Chloe Molloy just being that dynamic forward being able to go up for the marks as well as kicking the goals.”

Q: Do you have any mentors who have helped you along the way?

NM: “My parents. They’ve definitely helped me figure out my weaknesses and then helped me improve and give me points each game. But also just coaches. Sam Iles has been really influential, just helping me on and off the field, and another coach I reckon Matt Lappin he’s been pretty good, he helped me working on my marking and getting up for the ball, being able to time my jumps.

Q: How involved is Matty Lappin, having his daughter Sunny involved in the Suns Academy?

NM: “I was training with him in my junior years. I haven’t had exposure to him recently in the last year or so, but he was helping me through Bombers, so in Under 15s, Under 17s. He’s been really good.”

Q: What goals for the year?

NM: “I definitely would like to have a really strong QAFL season leading into the Queensland Under 18s. I think I just want to explore my versatility as a player and being able to play multiple positions and learning how if I’m playing forward, how a defender would be able to defend me and being able to use my game smarts that way. And just keeping on my weapons and make sure they’re there by the time the draft comes.”

Q: That leads onto the next question. You draft nomination at the end of the year, are you set on staying here and being a Sun or explore your options nationally?

NM: “I would like to stay local with starting university, so Queensland based would be ideal, but I’m definitely open to other options if they come my way.”

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