Young Star Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera’s Stellar Rise in St Kilda’s Defense Lineup


Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera has blossomed from a reserved youngster into a valued and confident part of St Kilda’s defensive lineup. His teammates are affirming his evident growth, especially as they anticipate their forthcoming return to the final matches.

The promotion to halfback came upon an earnest recommendation to Ross Lyon by Saints’ aid, Corey Enright. Wanganeen-Milera, a nephew of Brownlow medalist Gavin Wanganeen, has emerged as one of the team’s driving forces in 2023.

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The 20-year-old’s performance this season is commendable, drawing favorable comparisons with All-Australian defenders Dan Houston and teammate Jack Sinclair. Alongside the likes of Sinclair and Callum Wilkie, he has become an indispensable part of the competition’s most formidable defense, participating in every game this season.

Despite starting the season amidst contract expiration rumors and a battle with homesickness, the South Australian chose to extend his contract with the Saints until the close of 2025. His decision was significantly influenced by growing bonds with his young teammates, including Marcus Windhager, Mitch Owens, and Isaac Keeler, along with his roommate Mason Wood.

While speaking candidly about his previous year’s struggles, Wanganeen-Milera singled out the supportive environment at the Saints and the friendship with his house buddy Mason Wood and senior teammate Brad Hill, stating it was influential to his growth. He says the mutually enjoyable atmosphere makes him look forward to coming every day.

Ryan Byrnes, a teammate, spoke fondly of witnessing Wanganeen-Milera’s personality mature at Moorabbin while progressively being more vocal during meetings, responding to coaches’ feedback. He described the young man as becoming more outgoing, bringing humor to the team.

Heading towards his first finals with housemate Mason Wood, who has waited longer than even Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps, Wanganeen-Milera vowed not to take it lightly. He expressed his excitement and gratitude for sharing this experience with his teammates, stating it was a dream he had hoped to fulfill since the inception of his career.

Premiership-winning teammate Dan Butler commended Wanganeen-Milera’s broadened interactions within the group and how it proved advantageous for him on the field. He also noted the young defender’s contribution to team meetings and how it showed in his confident performances onfield.

Butler also pointed out the critical role played by their back coach, Corey Enright, in the young player’s upward trajectory. According to Butler, Enright’s guidance has shaped Wanganeen-Milera, his wisdom proving invaluable in the promising player’s development.

It’s safe to say that Wanganeen-Milera is content with his transition from the wing to his current position, marking an exciting journey with the Saints, filled with newfound confidence and valuable learning experiences.