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Tiger clocks up the Miles in crucial year

Anthony Miles has trimmed down in a bid to recapture a midfield spot at Richmond - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Anthony Miles,Daniel Rioli,Sam Lloyd
Anthony Miles has trimmed down in a bid to recapture a midfield spot at Richmond
He's running really well at the moment so he'll build up his contested stuff over the next month
Andrew McQualter on Anthony Miles

A LEANER Anthony Miles has returned to full training after shoulder surgery at the end of last year and improved his running in what looms as a career-defining season. 

Miles, 25, explored his trade options at the end of 2017 but ultimately signed a one-year deal to stay at Richmond. 

He managed just five games for the season, with a further 14 coming in the VFL on his way to finishing fifth in the JJ Liston Trophy, the best and fairest award in that competition. 

The former Greater Western Sydney onballer had come off consecutive top-six finishes in the Jack Dyer Medal but was unable to cement a spot in a midfield that would drive the club to the 2017 flag. 

Assistant coach Andrew McQualter told richmondfc.com.au Miles was set to improve his outside game.

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"He's just starting to get into his full training now. He had shoulder surgery at the end of last year so he was a little bit inhibited in what he was able to do, but one thing he has been able to do is lose a little bit of weight," McQualter said. 

"He's running really well at the moment so he'll build up his contested stuff over the next month." 

Miles is among 24 players training with the midfield group at Richmond. Among those is young gun Daniel Rioli, although he has been limited in his rehab after left ankle surgery last October because of an injury suffered in the Grand Final.

"We're looking at him (Rioli) to spend a bit more time in the midfield. He hasn't been able to train much at the moment but he's moved in there," McQualter said. 

Long-time forward Sam Lloyd excelled as an onballer in the VFL last season and could be given that opportunity in the senior side. 

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"We've moved him into the midfield this year. We saw at VFL level he was able to dominate games," McQualter said. 

"It was a challenge getting into the AFL midfield towards the end of the year but Lloydy proved that he's above the level at VFL for the second half of the year." 

Lloyd won the Norm Goss Medal for best afield in the Tigers' Grand Final loss to Port Melbourne, racking up 35 disposals, 10 clearances and nine tackles. 

Backmen Jayden Short and Reece Conca have also been training with the onballers, as have draftees Patrick Naish, Jack Higgins and rookie Liam Baker.

However Higgins may also feature in attack, where he won the Morrish Medal as the TAC Cup best and fairest after booting 32 goals in 14 games for the Oakleigh Chargers.

"As we get into more game situation drills, he might spend some time up forward as well," McQualter said.