Dad’s persistence pays off for Port

November 23, 2023 4:20 pm in by
Former Hawthorn player Teia Miles (pictured playing with Newtown & Chilwell in 2022) has signed with Portarlington. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

Since his AFL days ended, the annual question asked of Teia Miles by his dad Geoff is whether he’s interested in playing with Bellarine League club Portarlington.

The elder Miles, who, after his own AFL career concluded, made an indelible mark on Barwon Heads as a player and administrator, arrived at Portarlington at the end of 2019 as footy manager.

While he no longer holds an official role at the Demons, Miles finally got the answer out of Teia he had been chasing for four years, with the former Hawthorn player agreeing to play at Ron Evans Oval in 2024.

Article continues after this ad

“Ever since Dad got down to Portarlington at the end of 2019 and saw how much the club was struggling, I said to him, ‘At some stage, I’d love to come down and help the club out and the help the volunteers and everyone who wants to see the club succeed’,” Miles told K rock Football.

Miles, who played 12 games with Hawthorn, 81 VFL games, including a winning grand final, at Box Hill during his five seasons at the Hawks, and 25 games with Williamstown, spent this year with WAFL club Claremont.

At the Tigers, where Geoff played in a premiership in 1991, Miles played 20 games and averaged 22 disposals while also representing the WAFL against the SANFL.

Returning to Victoria at the end of the season, Miles weighed up the offer from Portarlington and the chance to return to where his football journey started at Barwon Heads.

“It was probably one of the hardest decisions (choosing between) Barwon Heads and Portarlington,” he said.

Article continues after this ad

“My best mate, Kyle Polley, plays at Barwon Heads, so it was a tough decision.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s only a game of footy, and we’ll be playing against each other, and I look forward to the challenge.”


Miles, who played three games with GFNL club Newtown & Chilwell, is the third ex-AFL player to join Portarlington, which is winless since Round 16, 2018.

It follows last month’s signings of Connor Menadue (Richmond/North Melbourne) and Jarryd Cachia (Carlton).

Article continues after this ad

“It’s very exciting times at Portarlington,” he said. “They haven’t got recruits like Connor and Jaryd for a while down there.”

“There’s going to be nothing more exciting than seeing the club win a game or two this year.

“Obviously, we want to try and win more than that.

“But, we plan to start by getting off the bottom of the ladder.”