IT HAS taken some time but Jacob Miller admits he finally feels at home now in Super League – which is good news for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The young Australian half-back showed some terrific form at the back end of the campaign, despite playing for a struggling Wildcats side, and illustrated just why Hull FC originally wanted to bring him over here in the spring of 2013.
That move from Wests Tigers didn’t pay off in the end, the scrum-half – like so many before him – failing to dazzle amid the pressure of life with the Airlie Birds even though he did play at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final defeat to Wigan.
Miller, 23, was released from his Hull contract with a year still to run but he moved to Wakefield at the end of 2014 on a 12-month deal and, looking far more relaxed, enjoyed an impressive debut campaign.
He scored 15 tries in 30 games for Trinity, particularly flourishing when fellow countryman Brian Smith took over in June, and concedes he is now much more at ease.
“I do think I’m definitely well and truly settled in now over here and this is home now,” said Miller. “The family is settled, the bunch of boys at Wakefield have helped me out ever since I got here and welcomed me on board and it is certainly the most settled I’ve been in the UK.
“I was playing some okay footy at the back end of the year but I thought our big boys were going forward really well then which helped and Timmy (Smith) was doing some good stuff to help me out as well.
“But my form was good and hopefully I can take that now into the new season.”
Miller was the first confirmed Trinity signing for 2016 when he penned a new two-year deal in September, underlining his importance to their plans.
Tim Smith has headed home to Australia but the West Yorkshire club – who only saved their Super League status with victory in the Million Pound Game over Bradford Bulls – have recruited Castleford Tigers half-back Liam Finn for next term.
The Ireland captain is a calming influence with his steadying hand and fine kicking ability while Miller offers the dynamism, pace and try-scoring potential that could be so pivotal for Wildcats as they bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s annus horribilis.
“Finny’s got plenty of experience and he’s been leading the boys around well from the word ‘go’ so hopefully we can complement each other and get the best out of the team,” he said.
“I think that’s the plan. Hopefully he can organise and run the side and I can just pick up things off the back of that.
“Pre-season’s been good and obviously we’ve got the Leeds fixture in a few weeks (Boxing Day) which will be a good chance for us to see where we’re at. It’s a pretty new squad here and we’ve made some good signings with people like Anthony Tupou and Tinirau Arona coming in from Cronulla.
“They’ve been great since they got here, have lots of experience, have fitted in straight away and hopefully they can play some good footy for us this year.
“We know we don’t want to be in the same position as last season after that Middle-8s thing – we’ll be using that as a bit of motivation to make sure we’re not.”