Reject Miller to face Town
CIRCUITOUS and serendipitous it may have been, but Adam Miller has finally achieved his dream of playing professionally.Not only that - but the once-discarded Miller is set to make his home debut in the Championship for QPR against the club that he parted company from as a youngster, when Ipswich Town go to Loftus Road on Saturday.
By Derek Davis
CIRCUITOUS and serendipitous it may have been, but Adam Miller has finally achieved his dream of playing professionally.
Not only that - but the once-discarded Miller is set to make his home debut in the Championship for QPR against the club that he parted company from as a youngster, when Ipswich Town go to Loftus Road on Saturday.
The 22-year-old former Colchester schoolboy was snapped up by Ian Holloway last month after watching him playing for Aldershot Reserves, and was given a fairytale debut last week at Nottingham Forest.
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Miller was deemed a prodigious midfielder as a young Blue, but left in acrimonious circumstances after a bust-up with George Burley at 19. Despite interest from a number of league clubs, no concrete offers came and he ended up at non-league Canvey Island.
From there he went to Grays, had a spell at Gravesend before landing up at Aldershot.
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After four years in the non-league wilderness, it seemed the big move was never going to happen but, when it did, it was in incredible circumstances.
In early November, Aldershot were leading 3-0 at Morecambe, with Miller scoring the third, but ended up drawing 3-3. The manager was naturally livid and forced the first team to play a reserve fixture the following Tuesday.
It was played at QPR and in the crowd was a certain Ian Holloway. Miller scored one and made two others and the next day the Rangers boss wasted no time in making an offer. The accepted bid is an Aldershot record, which is officially undisclosed (but thought to be worth around £350,000 with add-ons) and Miller signed his first professional contract on November 30 - his mum's birthday.
Miller made his first-team debut, again somewhat fortuitously, when midfielder Marc Bircham fell ill on the day of the game at Nottingham Forest.
Miller didn't miss a beat, played really well and was kept on for the whole 90 minutes, even though Rangers lost after going ahead through former Town defender Georges Santos.
Miller said: “I could not have asked for a better personal debut. I was devastated to lose the game but felt I did well enough and played the whole match.
“If I play on Saturday, either coming off the bench or starting, it will be truly incredible. I'm a life-long QPR fan, my dad used to take us when we were kids and we stayed at our grans and went to the match.
“He is chuffed to bits, he gets ribbed at work for being a QPR fan, but he is loving it now because he can come and see me play there rather than Aldershot.”
Miller still lives in Colchester and keeps an eye on Town's progress but, while it is one of those footballing quirks that he makes his home debut against the Blues, he holds no malice towards his old club.
He said: “I don't need the extra motivation. I'm up and ready for every game and what happened was a while ago anyway. It will be the same when we play Derby. I will be up for the game anyway, even with George Burley the manager there now. Every game will be like a debut for me, coming in as late as I have.”
Miller progressed from the Academy into the Town's reserves during the Blues' second year in the Premiership and found breaking into the first team a tough task at Portman Road, and he ran out of patience.