McMillan a Knight in Lower armour
RUGBY LEAGUE: A chance moment at pre-season has led Lower Clarence Magpies to pull off one of the club's best low-key signings this off-season with former Newcastle Knights club player Alex McMillan joining the black and white ranks.
It was a stroke of luck for the Magpies as McMillan strolled into pre-season training unannounced after moving to the area six months ago to start work on the highway upgrade.
McMillan, 26, grew up in a dyed-in-the-wool league family in the small central NSW town of Eugowra before moving to Newcastle for university and starting his league journey.
"I went down to Newcastle when I was 17 for university and I was lucky enough to get a contract in the Knights system through SG Ball and Holden Cup and then even played a little bit of NSW Cup," he said.
"I had a good time there, met a lot of good people and played a lot of good footy."
In fact the social side of the sport is what convinced McMillan to arrive at the Magpies doorstep after recent seasons with Mudgee Dragons and Aberdeen Tigers.
"Football is the best way to meet people," he said.
"I have been playing the game for a while now and I just wanted to keep playing this season and the best way to do that is just rock up at pre-season training.
"I grew up in bush footy, my old man played a lot of it and my brothers were also involved so I am ready for all it has got to throw at me."
It has not taken the trained engineer long to assimilate into life at the Magpies and with a long- term contract on the roads he is expecting to become a regular feature for the club.
"I don't know what I am bringing to the Magpies, I guess another body at the moment, but I am planning on sticking around for a while," he said.
"After speaking to a few of the fellas who have been here for the long stretch you can see there is a lot of passion in the club."
"I don't know if finals are what we are looking at this year, but I definitely wouldn't be putting it out of the picture yet."