Hodges: Getting the most out of Milford
You have to be a special type of talent to play NRL at 18 years of age but the reason I believe Anthony Milford will be a success for Queensland is the man who will be coaching him, Kevin Walters.
When 'Milf' started playing for Canberra it wasn't hard to see how wonderful a player he was. His footwork, ability to break a tackle, ability to beat the man, he just had a football brain about him and you could see that it was untapped.
Everything that he did was just off his raw ability but seeing him work over the last couple of years since he's joined the Broncos and grow into the person he is today has allowed him to take that natural ability and develop it to withstand the greatest of pressure.
Many people were of the opinion that he was the best player on the field in the 2015 Grand Final and there's no question that the work he did that year with Kevvie put him in a position to be able to produce that type of performance on the biggest stage.
To be honest I think he has really missed Kevvie's guidance the past couple of years and getting back into camp with him and surrounding himself with such great players – future Immortals – in Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk will take his game to another level again.
Size-wise people probably compared 'Milf' to Allan Langer but off the field he reminds me a lot of another former Queensland legend, Darren Lockyer.
He's a very softly spoken guy – he has a bit of fun here and there – but most times he'd rather sit there quietly than talk too much. That's just the way he is.
'Locky' had a very much similar demeanour. Locky wasn't a big talker, he'd happily sit there and keep to himself and that's how Milf is.
Everyone knows that and respects that but he's a guy that if you're having a beer he'd be one of the first guys that you'd call because he loves having a laugh and having fun and he's a great guy to be around. He's a funny little bloke when he gets going.
And now that he is in camp and around guys like 'Alf' and Steve Walters there's no way he'll be allowed to go back into his shell.
As soon as you let your guard down around Alf he'll be into you in front of everyone and there are other great characters in the side such as Sammy Thaiday who will make sure he never sits outside the circle for too long.
The other group of people who will be excited to see Anthony play for Queensland are the kids who look up to him so much.
Every time we go and do a school visit the kids always ask about Anthony Milford and you see them in the schoolyard stepping like him, passing like him and that's what you want.
It's great when you see young kids trying to emulate what their star players do and I think it's special that we have these guys in our game that young kids want to aspire to be. The more Anthony Milfords we have in our game, the better our game will be.
He's earned the right to play for Queensland if 'JT' doesn't play and this will be a big test for him. This is what it's all about, playing well for your club and then getting the chance to play for Queensland or NSW.
You're up against 17 of the best players in the game so what better way to test your skills and everything that you have learned over the years of playing rugby league than on the biggest stage of all, State of Origin.
On paper the game between the Warriors and Broncos this week looks very one-sided but there is obviously something very wrong with the culture at the Warriors at the moment and Stephen Kearney will need more than six months to turn it around.
To be honest, they've been terrible the last couple of weeks. The way they threw that game away in the second half against the Panthers two weeks ago made it look as though they did not want to be there at all.
They're well coached and they've got superstar players in their side but for some reason they just give up too easily. That's something they've got to get out of their game.
That trait has to be related to a culture that has built up over time perhaps by players who have been in the place for too long and ingrained some bad habits and 'Mooksy' needs time to change that.
He's been through great systems at Melbourne and the Broncos and he just now has to put his own spin on it and weed out those players that have been there for too long and are taking their position for granted.
It's a very unique club, it's isolated from everyone else in the game and as a rugby league fan there's no better side to watch than the Warriors when they are playing their style of football and competing for 80 minutes.
We're just not getting that from them at the moment.