Ex-Bourne and Spalding player Miller back with a goal
Former Spalding United striker Ricky Miller is hoping his return to the game will create a ‘match made in heaven’ after ending his 20-month self-imposed footballing break.
The ex-Tulips frontman has signed for National League side Aldershot Town and marked his debut last weekend by scoring the winning goal in their derby duel with Woking.
The 31-year-old came on as a substitute for the Shots and netted within 11 minutes of his arrival before being forced off shortly after due to a nasty leg gash which required stitches.
Miller played for Spalding during the early stages of his career and also featured for Bourne Town before rising up the ranks to play in the Football League with Luton Town, Peterborough United, Mansfield Town and Port Vale.
He is now based in Hampshire and is hoping his switch to nearby Aldershot can be of great benefit to both player and club.
Speaking to Shots TV, he said: “I had been watching from afar and keeping an eye on things to see how they were getting on, but I believe that I can help them a lot on and off the pitch.
“I feel the club is not fulfilling its potential at the moment but, with a few tweaks here and there as well as a bit of belief and confidence, then we can have a really good push this season, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
“If I didn’t think we could hit the play-offs then I wouldn’t have come to the club.
“We’re not going to win every game, but we’ll be doing everything we can in matches and I’ll certainly be trying to chip in with as many goals and as much work-rate and enthusiasm as I can and hopefully that will rub off.
“We are all in it together. The fans play a crucial role and hopefully we can all muck in and lead the club in the right direction.
“My mum also lives about five miles away from the club and some of my mates are Aldershot fans so it’s sort of a match made in heaven.”
The match was Miller’s first appearance in 20 months after a self-imposed break from the game due to mental health problems.
He had first appeared in Stamford colours as a teenager in 2006 and then spent time on loan at Bourne.
Miller then had spells at Corby Town, Hitchin, Fleet, Spalding and Boston United before returning to the Daniels for the start of the 2009/10 campaign.
After netting 14 goals in the first half of the season, he moved to higher level Cambridge City and then went on to Aylesbury and Wealdstone before returning to the Daniels for a third spell in 2011.
Brief sojourns at Corby and St Ives were then followed by his fourth return to Stamford during the 2012–13 season where he scored the winning goal in the play-off final against Chasetown to help the club win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
Miller’s career then started to gather pace when he re-signed for Boston United and scored 28 goals in 46 appearances to win the Conference North Player of the Year accolade.
Those exploits earned him a move to Luton Town where he netted his first Football League goal for the Hatters before being released at the end of the season to join Dover Athletic.
He netted 60 goals in 86 appearances for Dover and was named as the National League Player of the Year for 2016-17 which earned him a move to Peterborough United.
However, he was transfer-listed by Posh after failing to score in his first 13 matches and eventually joined Port Vale before his latest move to Aldershot where he is determined to make his mark.
Miller added: “I have got a point to prove that I’m still capable of doing what I can.
“I’m 31-years-old now, but I’m still a very fit lad and I’ve got myself in incredible shape.
“I feel fitter than I was at Dover and I’ve also come a long way since then so I’m hoping that I can pick up where I left off.
“I just want to get stuck in straight away and earn the trust of my team-mates and try to give back as quick as I can.
“It’s been a long old ride and, although I don’t want to go into too much detail, I’m at the end of the road now and I can see the finishing line and I’m raring to go.”