Gridiron Australia Matt Steel

Disney movies inspired Brisbane gridiron running back

BRISBANE native and running back Darius Holliday-Miller, says watching Disney movies has been the inspiration behind his rise to the top of the game in Australia.

Holliday-Miller was the clear-cut MVP of Saturday's Australian Gridiron League final against New South Wales at Runaway Bay.

The 22-year-old has a bright future in the game, and is just one of the many young stars aspiring to follow in the footsteps of Sydney-born David Yankey.

Yankey was drafted into the NFL to play for the Minnesota Vikings, at the weekend.

Holliday-Miller ran for more than 250 yards in Queensland's big 42-14 win over NSW on Saturday. He now has some big aims in the sport.

"Pixie dust," was the running back's answer to describing his fast feet, after his Queensland Sundevils terrorised the NSW Wolfpack.

"I'm a big Disney fan - I love Lilo and Stitch, Cars and Toy Story. I have a Goofy tattoo on my calf - it's my lucky charm."

Sundevils head coach Steve Box believes Holliday-Miller can play a major part in the Australian World Cup team, which will take part in the World Championship in Sweden, in July 2015.

"He's one of the best players in Australia because he takes advantage of his opportunities," Box said.

"He's got a Goofy tattoo and a playful side, but once he steps up to train he is all business.

"He has tremendous leg drive and vision, and an overall skill set to go far in the US if he chooses."

Holliday-Miller plays for the same club that fellow Brisbane NFL star Jesse Williams represented - the Bayside Ravens - before being picked up by the Arizona Western College.

Williams is now on the defending NFL champions the Seattle Seahawks' roster.

Australian national director for coaching, Geoff Hiddleston, said the Ravens club is at the forefront of fostering future NFL talent.

"You can't play gridiron in Australia until you are 14. But the Ravens have some great programs in place to identify good players and teach them the game before they reach that age," he said.

Hiddleston believes star young players such as Holliday-Miller are fast emerging across the state and country.

"We've got just shy of 50 players in the US at various colleges, and I believe that number will increase dramatically over the next five years," he said. "We even had a couple of local politicians attend our AGL final, and that's never happened before in 30 years of gridiron in Australia, so the government support is there."

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