- March 30, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A pure footballer who has the footy smarts, goal sense and X-factor which overshadows his lack of pace. Miers has a huge tank and his big-game ability came to the fore in the TAC Cup Grand Final when he kicked seven goals."
Gryan Miers is a natural footballer who while he might lack a yard and a natural leap, he makes up for it in football IQ which is off the charts. He could well be one of the smartest footballers in the draft crop and his ability to sniff out a goal when few others sense the opportunity make him an exciting prospect at the next level. He has elite endurance which only enhances his ability to shine throughout four quarters and he works his opponents over with his tireless running and the knowledge that they cannot afford to relax at any point in the game. While his athleticism, in particular his speed is below that of your average player, his ability to play to his strengths means it will not impact him at AFL level.
- Footy IQ
- Goal sense
Miers’ greatest strength is his football IQ because he just knows where to run, how to win the football and how to kick the important goals. He is always getting into dangerous positions and can win the ball at ground level or on the lead. He is arguably most dangerous inside 50 with the ball at ground level and anyone who watched his performance in the TAC Cup Grand Final was able to witness what he is capable of producing. Miers’ goal sense and X-factor is also a huge strength for the Falcons’ forward, averaging almost four goals a game throughout the season, with a number of big goal hauls. His performance on the biggest stage no doubt put his name further up draft boards and you can expect the Luke Dahlhaus excitement machine to land somewhere in the second round.
Another strength for Miers is his endurance, which he showed off at the recent National Combine, finishing top 10 in the yo-yo test and third in the 2km time trial. Often endurance is a trait small forwards can lack, but for Miers, his huge tank allows him to run throughout the four quarters making his opponents constantly on edge. While he does not have the pace to trouble his opponents, if you give him a metre, he will take every centimetre to advantage, using his smarts and goal sense to ensure his opponents regret it. As a whole, Miers is a player that has quite a large scope for improvement and he will start as a small forward at AFL level before ultimately moving up the ground to play as high half-forward, kicking a couple of goals a game rotating through the midfield. I would argue Miers is the best pure small forward in the draft.
- Vertical leap
For all his strengths, Miers does have a few areas of improvement athletically. He is not quick, nor does he have the natural leap that some forwards have in spades. He averaged four marks a game, and being a smaller player, just over 10 per cent of his marks were contested. Miers’ game is to break free when his opponent is snoozing, or lead to an area that his teammate can kick into so he can pounce. The one time Miers’ was well held was against GWV Rebels’ Flynn Appleby who wore him like a glove, because the only way to beat Miers is to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and not allow him time and space. He does not have the speed to break away, but he is a slippery opponent who also has the ability to break free of a tackle or outsmart his opponent.
Secondly, Miers’ is not a natural high-flyer. He still marks overhead, but he loves the ground ball or finding a pocket of space inside the forward 50 to lead into. He recorded the lowest vertical leap of all the National Combine players, but his endurance levels, as expected were off the charts so his lack of leap is unlikely to be a cause of concern for recruiters. As a whole, Miers is not athletically gifted, but his endurance base and smarts outweigh his lack of speed and natural leap. Another minor improvement worth mentioning is when kicking for goal on the run he will often lean back and lose balance at times. If it sails through it will not matter, but losing balance can mean the team is one player down inside 50.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Second round
Gryan Miers is the best pure small forward in the draft crop. Given the lack of genuine smalls (Dylan Moore, Brent Daniels the other two dangerous forwards), Miers could even bolt into the late first round if a team thought what he offered was a need. He is readymade with a tank to play out full games, and a resume that is likely to excite supporters of any club that drafts him. He might not be athletically gifted, but his strengths and smarts inside the forward 50 are close to unrivalled this year, so he presents a unique prospect at the draft.
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