on 17 November 2021
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Dreaming of playing at the AFL level since his junior footy days at Berwick JFC, Dandenong Stingray Miller Bergman will stop at nothing from becoming the best player and teammate he can be.

Acknowledging concerns over his light frame – only 65kg at 188cm tall – Bergman started taking not only his game seriously, but also his body.

“I got a PT to help me put on size; he’s been a massive help because that’s probably one of the main factors [to build] some strength when I play some inside and outside.” Bergman said.

“[Also] going through the Stingrays’ nutritionist helped with what to eat to help build size.”

This extra work on his body has paid off, as Bergman has gained 6-7kg since mid-season. Coming second in the Stingrays’ Best and Fairest by only one vote, Bergman understands the work rate and competitiveness needed to not only work his opponent over, but to develop skills for the next level.

Bergman’s work ethic is credited to his father, Shannon Bergman, who was drafted with pick 66 by North Melbourne in 1989. 

“Dad always said you need to have work rate because the harder you work, the more chance you’ll have in finding the ball.” Bergman said.

Despite often being described as a medium forward, it’s at half back where Bergman feels he can use his skills best to his advantage.

“It’s just where I feel most comfortable; where I can run and use my work rate and skills to try and bring teammates into a better position and open up the game a bit more.” Bergman explains.

“When I play off half back, I can see a lot of the field in front of me.

“So just trying to be loud and directive with my voice and just encourage them as well.”

Bergman’s versatility on the ground can see him positioned anywhere on the field, proven in the round 3 match against Greater Western Victoria. Down by 19 points at three quarter time, the half back was moved to the forward line where he ended up kicking 3 goals to bring the Stingrays just 9 points shy of a win.

When asked who his on-field influences were, Bergman’s answer wasn’t that of an AFL star, but instead his Stingrays teammate Judson Clarke.

“I look up to Juddy. Just how hard he works at training and always wanting to get the best out of everyone.” Bergman said.

“I just try and push myself with him and keep up those high standards.

“He’s a massive influence on me.”

Finishing the year with an average of 17.7 disposals with 79% disposal efficiency and showing signs of elite running capabilities (clocking 13.5km against Gippsland Power), it’s no doubt that Miller Bergman is deserving to be in AFL Draft conversations.

The 2021 AFL Draft will commence on Wednesday November 24th.

By Jazz Bennett 16/11/21