Milford primed for 2020 after huge pre-season
BRISBANE'S million-dollar man Anthony Milford is feeling as good as his price tag ahead of the 2020 season, with recent club measurements revealing the playmaker is at his fittest since arriving at Red Hill.
The 25-year-old will head into this year's NRL season in prime condition due largely to his decision to take up boxing over the off-season to improve his speed and endurance.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has also revealed Milford's body composition - the percentage of muscle, fat, bone and water in a person's body - is at its best since he arrived at the club in 2015.
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Milford struggled with consistency last season after being thrown into the Broncos' fullback role in round 15, as part of a controversial positional switch with Darius Boyd.
Now the 167-game playmaker is set to return to the full-time five-eighth role in 2020 and has been hard at work during the off-season, enduring extra-curricular boxing sessions since November to increase his fitness.
His improvement hasn't gone unnoticed by the head coach, who said Milford is primed for a good season for the club.
"His body composition is the best it's been since he's been in Brisbane, he tells me," Seibold said.
"He's no longer in the extras group. He's working really hard.
"He needed to have a good pre-season too.
"He needed to come in and work hard to get better physically and work hard to get better from a footy point of view.
"I feel as though he's much more consistent with his training.
"He's got himself in a really good position to have a good season. He's just got to keep chipping away."
Milford is set to join Brisbane's Nine's squad who will travel to Perth in a fortnight's time as part of a star-studded line-up which includes the likes of David Fifita, Payne Haas and Xavier Coates.
It will be the playmaker's first game back for the Broncos since their record 58-0 loss to Parramatta in last year's preliminary final.
It has meant Milford has gone through his first uninterrupted pre-season since joining the Broncos - with surgeries and representative football impacting his preparations in previous years.
He was limited in the 2018 and 2019 preseasons with shoulder reconstructions, while 2017 saw him lose halves partner Ben Hunt to the Dragons just weeks out from round one.
Seibold said he was confident of Milford's combination with halfback options Brodie Croft and Tom Dearden with just six weeks until round one.
"(Milford) told me the other day, he's hardly had a pre-season," Seibold said.
"He's had shoulder operations, he's had rep football, so this is really his first proper pre-season for a long time.
"One thing I know about pre-seasons, is that they can set you up individually for a good season.
"I like what he's doing. Him and Brodie (Croft) and Tommy (Dearden) are combining really well.
"I'm really happy with his preparation. I feel he's much more consistent. The proof will be in the pudding."