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Mills open-minded ahead of comeback campaign

Young Swan Callum Mills sweats his way through a pre-season boxing drill.
I’d like to end up in the midfield one day. Whether that’s in 2019 or not, I’ll just be happy to be out on the park and winning games. That’s the most important thing.
Callum Mills

Sydney Swans young gun Callum Mills says he’s open to playing in the midfield or at half-back in season 2019 as he eyes a return to footy.

The QBE Sydney Swans Academy product’s 2018 season was cut short after Round 9 when he broke his foot.

But the 21-year-old has returned to the thick of pre-season training and says he’ll be ready to play wherever coach John Longmire needs him.

“We’re not really talking about positions at the moment,” Mills told 3AW radio show Sportsday.

“It’s more about fundamentals and the basics of football at this time of year. Things might change and you never know – I could be in the midfield or I could be at half-back again. It will all come down to team dynamics.

“I’d like to end up in the midfield one day. Whether that’s in 2019 or not, I’ll just be happy to be out on the park and winning games. That’s the most important thing.”

Mills returned to pre-season training alongside Isaac Heeney, Tom Papley, Will Hayward and the rest of Sydney’s first- to fifth-year players a fortnight ago.

The youngsters have this week welcomed back the more experienced Swans, including captain Josh Kennedy and veteran defender Jarrad McVeigh, while Sydney’s seven draftees have also laced up the boots.

Sydney drafted Mills from the Swans Academy via their first-round selection at the 2015 National Draft, and a mixture of senior- and rookie-listed footballers last week followed in his footsteps.

Mills says he’s rapt to be back in the full swing of training after a 2018 campaign hampered by injury.

“Being out on the track with the boys is definitely a lot more entertaining and exciting than being stuck in the dungeon (rehabilitation room), so I’m pumped to be training,” Mills said. 

But the AFL’s 2016 Rising Star says the biggest dangling carrot is mounting a return to AFL footy.

“A few of the boys are getting really competitive with the running and there’s nothing more nerve-wracking than a time trial,” Mills said.

“I’d much rather be playing a game.”