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Milford's quest for kicking perfection enhanced by Kangaroos

Anthony Milford’s quest for perfection in his kicking game took another step forward last week where he credits sessions at the North Melbourne Kangaroos for fine-tuning his ball drop.

Milford, Kodi Nikorima, Andrew McCullough, Jamayne Isaako and assistant coach Kurt Richards spent two days of professional development at the Kangaroos last week.

Milford is well on the way to full recovery from a shoulder reconstruction and wants to play two trials, starting with the February 23 clash against Wynnum-Manly.

Milford said he learned plenty about game preparation from his North Melbourne visit, along with skills that can only improve his kicking game.  

"[North Melbourne] is a great club and I learned a few different kicking techniques that we can hopefully put into our own game to try and perfect that," he said.

"It is just about breaking down the techniques of kicking and making things a lot easier. A big thing for me was my ball drop.

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"If I am not bringing the ball all the way down to my foot and not hitting the right spot, the ball goes everywhere.

"I am bringing that into my own game. Me and Kodi are keeping ourselves accountable if we pick up on things where we [need to] help each other out."

Last year NRL.com reported how Milford had fine-tuned his kicking game at a Brisbane Lions indoor facility under the guidance of Richards.

In 2018 Milford led the NRL in kicking metres and was in the top five for forced drop-outs and kicks in play.

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The Broncos five-eighth, whose running game has always been a feature of his play, said he now understood how kicking well was often the difference between winning and losing games.

"I picked up on my kicking game the back end of last year and I have come to realise that it important the way the game is going, and when you are in the arm wrestle to get us out of trouble," he said.

"If we are not on with our kicking game then you are not going to give yourself a chance to win. I just need to evolve as a player and the next step is getting my kicking game at the best I can.

"[Kurt Richards] is always tipping us up and has been a massive help for Kodi and I, just making sure we are spot on.

"Kodi has taken a lot of weight off my shoulders organising the team and letting me concentrate on one or two things in my game that I can do a lot better."

Milford had a minor issue with his shoulder at Brisbane training on Monday but said he was confident of being right to play trials. He only played one trial in 2018 but is keen to get more minutes under his belt to ensure the Broncos aren’t slow out of the blocks as they were last year.

"Hopefully I will get a 20-minute stint in the Wynnum game. Game fitness is real different to the kind of conditioning we do here. I just want to get as much as I can out of hopefully two games – Wynnum-Manly and then the Titans," he said.