Milford set for Bronco master class
Boom Broncos recruit Anthony Milford says he's relishing the opportunity to develop his game at five-eighth under the guidance of former club legends and returning coach Wayne Bennett.
Milford will have more than 1,600 games of playing and coaching experience at his disposal with Darren Lockyer set to mentor the 20-year-old alongside Bennett and ex-Broncos halves and 2015 assistant coaches Allan Langer and Kevin Walters.
The former Raider made his first appearance in Broncos colours on Wednesday and is looking forward to harnessing all he can from the club's stable of former stars as he prepares himself for the role in Brisbane's famous No.6 jersey.
"It will be good to learn off one of the greats (Lockyer) and there's a lot of old faces at the club who can help me out as well," Milford said.
"I played five-eighth at the back-end of [this season] and thought I went all right. I think I'll be a lot better with the help I'll get around here – Benny Hunt's on fire at the moment and I'll learn a few things off him – and there are good people around the club that can help me out as well."
Signed to the club on a two-year deal reported to be worth $900,000 a season, the Brisbane-born speedster is not only eager to hone his skills under the tutelage of Bennett, but is also prepared to shelve his ad-lib style of football in favour of a more structured approach if required.
"I hope to gain a lot of experience off him. He's been around the game for a long time and he's one of the successful coaches so I'll do my best to learn everything I can off him and try and put that towards my own game," Milford said of working under Bennett.
"I like off-the-cuff football and that's what I enjoy the most. In [most] game plans now there is structure so when there's a time to play off-the-cuff I'll do it, but for now I'll just stick to the structured football."
Happy to be back home in Brisbane, the Souths Acacia Ridge junior has recovered from an ankle knock sustained while playing for the Prime Minister's XIII last month that ruled him out of Four Nations selection.
The Broncos are hoping Milford can replicate the form he displayed in 2014 and build upon the 12 tries, 14 try assists, 16 line breaks and 113 tackle breaks he made this season.
One Bronco looking to benefit from Milford's arrival is his boyhood idol Justin Hodges.
Despite laying on 13 try assists, the veteran centre could only manage two tries in 2014 – his lowest try-scoring total since his debut year in 2000.
Hodges hopes the sheer speed and skill of his new teammate can help him cross the stripe more frequently in 2015.
"It's good to see him here – the [Broncos] colours really suit him," Hodges said.
"I've always had big raps of him, just the way he's played down in Canberra and [now] coming up here he's only going grow as a player.
"Having the likes of 'Kevvie' (Kevin Walters) and 'Alf' (Allan Langer) around him – a couple of the best players to play for our club – I think he's only going to benefit [from that] as well.
"I'm really looking forward to playing with him and hopefully he can produce what he did in Canberra for us."
Milford, Hodges and Jack Reed were on hand as the Broncos launched their new home jersey to be worn over the next two seasons.
The jersey salutes the past and current day with stripes returning to the abdomen, as per the Broncos’ first home jerseys and inaugural Auckland Nines jersey.
The changes were made after the club listened to feedback from its members and will be worn for the first time in the World Club Challenge clash against Wigan on the weekend of February 20-22, 2015.