Hunger for gold in Rio drives Billy Miller
WATER POLO: Sunshine Coast national water polo player Billy Miller is adamant Australia can get on the podium at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Miller, who has been training with the national team at the Kawana Aquatic Centre this week, was a member of the Australian side that fell to Serbia in a quarter-final at the 2012 London Olympics.
He was Australia's leading goalscorer in that campaign, snaring 10.
The 26-year-old says his yearning for Olympic Glory has kept him in the sport he loves so dearly.
"It's probably the hunger to achieve a gold medal at the Olympics with the team that keeps me coming back," he said. "I am going around with guys I have been with for 10-plus years and we have a lot we want to achieve together."
Australian coach Elvis Fatovic describes Miller as one of the most valuable assets in his side - a player with the ability to turn a game on its head.
Miller said Australia was bridging the gap between itself and its world-leading European counterparts.
"Last year at the world champs we lost by one goal to Croatia in the quarter-finals, so we have been pretty unlucky," he said.
"But if one game goes right and the ball goes in after that winning shot, then we are top four and from there anything can happen."
One of Australia's youngest in London, Miller now finds himself a leader.
He has been relishing his new role and hopes it will help Australia jag a medal in Rio.
"As a senior guy you are trying to lead by example, but at the same time you are worried about those younger guys coming up and pushing you out of the team," he said.
"It is new territory, but the ultimate goal is to win a medal and be one of Australia's first teams to do it."