Journeyman Miles enjoys the view at Carrara
THE Gold Coast Suns have never been painted in the greatest light down south.
So as star recruit Anthony Miles settled into life at Carrara last October, after being traded north from Richmond, he was pleasantly surprised.
Not least of all by the work ethic of the young playing list.
"In Melbourne, you don't hear much about the younger guys up here," Miles said this week.
"They tend to go under the radar, but ... how they apply themselves at training and in games is phenomenal.
"They watch a lot of footy... their game knowledge, for how many games they've played, is really high. At times they are teaching me as well."
Not yet household names in the wider AFL community, onballers Jack Bowes and Brayden Fiorini have stood out from the pack.
"They are going to be stars," Miles said.
But the 27-year-old, as straight talking off the field as he is without fuss on it, admits to having the wrong idea about Wil Powell.
Making an impact, the West Australian teenager kicked two goals in the loss to the Eagles last week.
"To be honest, I'd never heard of Powelly," Miles said.
"Coming up here and looking at him, you probably wouldn't think he was an AFL player. But he's really impressed me."
A seasoned journeyman, Miles is in his eighth season of AFL football and at his third club.
Hailing from Albury, where he was a St Kilda fan who idolised Robert Harvey and later Lenny Hayes, he spent two years at GWS (for 10 senior games) and five with the Tigers (61).
An inside midfielder, he has been the victim of being at two clubs with strength in the engine room.
His talent as a ball-winner has never been in question.
He has averaged 22 disposals in his five games as a Sun - just a tick under the 23-24 per match he averaged during his first three years at the Tigers (2014-16). Back then, he was a regular in the ones alongside Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin.
"Obviously I would've liked to have been a one-club player ... played 150, 200 games at the one club," he said.
"But it's become so common now ... it's not like the olden days - players move.
"I was unfortunately delisted from GWS. Richmond took a chance on me, which I was really thankful for
"I was starved of opportunities the last couple of years.
"Missed out on a flag, which was disappointing, but it was also great to be around a successful club. Richmond were fantastic in saying to go and explore other opportunities and see what was out there."
Miles polled nine Brownlow votes in 2015 but was restricted to one senior appearance last year, when he was co-winner of the JJ Liston Medal as best and fairest in the VFL.
"At 27, I still feel like I've got a lot to offer up here, that's for sure," he said.
Traded in October, it was a whirlwind time for Miles, who was married in November.
"She (wife Laura) was still contracted in Melbourne, so the first two months of our marriage we were living apart," Miles said. "But she's settled in now and loving it."
The couple are living in Palm Beach and Miles, a keen fisherman, is enjoying the lifestyle.
"I don't think I've seen a person wearing a suit the whole time I've been up here," he said.
"Everyone seems to be relaxed, pretty chilled out."
Miles missed a couple of weeks with a severe corked calf, but returned for the trip west last week.
The Suns are back home today to host a rejuvenated Melbourne, and Miles will be in the thick of the action against Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and co.
"They pride themselves on the contest, as we do," he said.
"It will be a good battle between the inside mids. I'm looking forward to that one."