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Mills ready for AFL action

Stuart Dew on First Bounce - March 7, 2016 Stuart Dew talks to the team at afl.com.au on the First Bounce
Callum Mills shapes for a handball during his senior debut against Port Adelaide in week one of the NAB Challenge.

Senior assistant coach Stewart Dew is confident Callum Mills is ready to play AFL football as the No. 3 draft pick firms for an opening round debut.

The 19-year-old has played in both the Swans’ NAB Challenge matches, showing encouraging signs across the half back line.

Mills was among the best performers in the side’s week one win over Port Adelaide, finishing with 22 possessions including 16 in the first half.

“Millsy is ready to play AFL footy,” Dew told The First Bounce on the AFL website.

“He played some serious reserves footy for us last year albeit at a different level but one game he played a half and had over 40 possessions.

“He can certainly find the footy and we are trying to lift his baseline in defence.”

The courage of Mills was on full display against the Giants at Drummoyne Oval on the weekend when he took a courageous mark running back with the flight of the football.

“He is fearless and some of his highlights make you cringe sometimes with his attack on the ball because he puts his head in places it shouldn’t go at times,” Dew said.

“We are fearful at times that he goes a bit too hard but if that is a problem they are easy to peg back. It is harder to get guys to go in as hard as he does.”

Dew said Mills was just one of a handful of options being considered to play across the half back line throughout the 2016 season following the retirement of Rhyce Shaw and departure of Lewis Jetta during the off-season.

“We have Nic Newman having a run around and Zak Jones is coming back as well,” he said.

“We are trialling a few through there, also some mids we have trialled back there include Harry Cunningham who has done the job.”

“Certainly no one has locked that spot down so we have a couple of weeks to try and firm that one up.”

The Swans have one match remaining in the 2016 NAB Challenge with a clash against Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.