Anthony Milford looks fighting fit for the new season. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Anthony Milford looks fighting fit for the new season. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Seibold: Milford better than ever

BRONCOS coach Anthony Seibold has declared that star playmaker Anthony Milford is in "career-best shape" ahead of his seventh season in the NRL.

The Brisbane five-eighth has soared to new heights at training under the tutelage of Seibold and returned fitness chief Andrew Croll, following years of scrutiny over his work ethic.

Former coach Wayne Bennett last year had to defend Milford, denying he was unprofessional at training, following speculation he was a poor trainer.

And Seibold also shot down any concerns over Milford's fitness ahead of season 2019, in what is a major boost for the Broncos as they chase their seventh premiership.

 

"He's in career-best shape with regards to his body composition but also the testing we do for our fitness levels," he said.

"I've been impressed with Anthony Milford since I've come back … He's in really good shape at the moment."

A strong pre-season could be the making of Milford. (AAP Image/Darren England)
A strong pre-season could be the making of Milford. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Seibold said the improvement in Milford's fitness was purely motivated by the 24-year-old himself, who is still on the comeback trail from a shoulder reconstruction.

"He's done this himself," Seibold said.

"He broke his personal best time in the Broncos 1.2km shuttle by 17 seconds, which is a significant amount. His body composition is where it needs to be as well.

"We're just trying to install how we want to play our game model with Milf at the moment.

"I'm really happy with how he's progressing from a physical point of view and he's really engaged at the moment."

The praise of the Queensland Origin talent comes even while he is not training at full contact.

Milford underwent his second shoulder reconstruction in as many years last September, 12 months on from the last time he went under the knife in 2017.

Anthony Milford steps it up at training. Picture: Peter Wallis
Anthony Milford steps it up at training. Picture: Peter Wallis

Seibold said Milford is currently taking part in "75 to 80 per cent" of Brisbane's training but does take a back seat during the heavy contact work alongside star forward Matt Gillett, who is also returning from a shoulder reconstruction.

However, Seibold is confident the Samoan international will soon be back to full training and he is expected to play in Brisbane's March 2 trial against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.

"I spoke with the doctor and they're really comfortable with where (Milford and Gillett) are progressing," Seibold said.

"It will be over the next week or two. There's a progression that players coming back from shoulder reconstructions go through so (Milford) is right at the very end.

"There's no concerns about 'Milf'. He'll play the trial against the Gold Coast Titans and, all going well, he'll be there for Round 1 against the Storm."

 

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