Leagues: SANFL League, SANFL Reserves
Image Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
POSITION: Outside Midfielder
SNAPSHOT: “Wanganeen-Milera is a classy wingman of exceptional footballing pedigree who uses the ball as well as anyone in the draft crop.”
Glenelg’s Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera shot into first round calculations off the back of a wonderful year with Glenelg and a couple of standout showings with South Australia. The wingman is the nephew of 1993 Brownlow Medallist Gavin Wanganeen and the son of Terry Milera, who spent time on St Kilda’s list. Nasiah started the season as a likely draftee, but his stocks steadily rose throughout the season as he continued to impress in the yellow and black. He spent much of the year at Reserves level, where he averaged 15.8 disposals, 3.9 marks, 2.5 tackles and 2.4 inside-50s in 13 matches stationed predominately on the wing. His strong start to the year saw him included in the AFL Academy team which played against Geelong VFL in April. His consistent performances also earned him a SANFL League debut. He went on to play four senior matches for the year as a forward and wingman, averaging 11 disposals and three marks. He played a vital role in the Tigers claiming the Reserves premiership, booting a goal and gathering 19 touches in the Grand Final win over Central Districts. Wanganeen-Milera was picked on the wing for South Australia’s first two meetings with Western Australia in Perth. Despite SA losing both encounters, Wanganeen-Milera was comfortably his side's best, using the ball efficiently and displaying poise and class when many of his teammates appeared rushed.
+ Foot skills
+ Decision making
- Inside game
Wanganeen-Milera possesses a delightful right-foot kick, which is not only efficient but often damaging. He has a very simple and effective kicking style and is capable of hitting targets from a variety of distances. He gets good penetration on his kicks and is also clean with his distribution by hand. When the play is on the flanks or wing, the Marion Football Club junior will often look for an option in the centre of the ground and will back himself in to hit the intended target. Recruiters will love his aggressiveness with ball in-hand, which is beautifully paired with some elite natural footballing skills which simply cannot be taught.
Wanganeen-Milera has the rare ability to slow things down with ball in hand. The outside midfielder has the agility and evasiveness to dance his way through traffic and in doing so, create more time and space for himself. Never flustered, Wanganeen-Milera is incredibly poised and composed with the footy and isn’t one to simply blaze away. Instead, he carefully thinks his way through situations and makes the right decisions more often than not. In the South Australian Under 19 trial match, played in horrid conditions, Wanganeen-Milera handled the ball like it was a dry day, highlighting his level of class and ability to remain balanced.
The Glenelg product is widely seen as a wingman at the next level, however his footballing smarts, elite skillset and level-headedness with ball in hand have allowed him to play a variety of roles throughout his junior career. At league level, he was used in the forward line, but his ball use has also been put to good use across half-back in somewhat of a quarterback role where he could set up the play from the defensive half of the ground. Standing at 188cm, he has a light frame ideal for running and generating outside spark from either end of the ground.
Wanganeen-Milera has always been more of an outside player throughout his time in the SANFL ranks. As a high impact per possession type, his attributes are well suited to a more uncontested role. Naturally, his contested ball winning will be identified an area of improvement simply because he lacks exposure in an inside role. However, this makes him far from a liability. Wanganeen-Milera is lightly built at this stage of his development and will need to add some size to his frame at the next level. However, it is likely he will always play a few of kilograms lighter than many others around him.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 10-20
After piecing together a terrific season with Glenelg and highlighting his talent at the Under 19 National Championships against WA, Wanganeen-Milera is now widely viewed as the second best South Australian talent in the draft crop, behind only Jason Horne-Francis. He appears likely to be taken in the mid-stages of the first round, with some even suggesting the wingman could attract attention in the top 10. His upside has been made clear for all to see. Composure, evasiveness and skills are attributes which you either have or you don’t, and Wanganeen-Milera has them in spades. Clubs are always looking to add more quality ball users, and Wanganeen-Milera has proven his class across a number of levels. He will appeal to any team looking for some outside polish.