Meters Bergman

Metres gained has become a hugely popular statistic with AFL fans and media since it began being collected. Part of its popularity has been its correlation with success at both the individual and team level.

The official definition of metres gained, according to Champion Data, is:

‘’Net metres gained with the ball by a player, by running, kicking or handballing, combining measures towards attacking goal and away from defensive goal.’’

However, the use of this statistic is often misunderstood and had questions raised about how relevant it is to the game.

A lot of the points raised in articles such as these are valid, such as how well we can use statistics to truly gain a better understanding of our game and learn about the impact individual players have.

I’m going to put these criticisms to the side for the purposes of this post, though.

One player who caught my eye this year was Miles Bergman, the young running defender for Port Adelaide.

Although Bergman was drafted in 2019, he didn’t make his AFL debut until Round 1 of this year due to a combination of injuries and Port Adelaide not participating in the SANFL last year.

This didn’t stop Bergman though, who went on to play 23 games this year, including Port’s two finals. Bergman was rewarded for his good form throughout, winning a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for Round 21.

Part of the reason I paid more attention to Bergman is because my brother is also called Myles. Different spelling aside, it’s always a bit odd hearing it on the television as it’s not the most common name.

The same thing happens whenever I watch a Brisbane game and hear the commentators talk about Lincoln McCarthy.

One classic childhood story involving my brother came at Christmas time, during a nativity play. As the narrator told the story of Mary and Joseph walking miles and miles to Bethlehem, Myles (who apparently was only 18 months old), piped up with (something along the lines of) “That’s my name—I’m in the story!”

Cue the laughs as a little kid does something cute.

But earlier this week as I was thinking about AFL statistics, my mind somehow came back to So, I was curious to see how many miles Miles Bergman has gained in his short AFL career.

We can look at metres gained data from 2012 onwards, as this is available from the AFL statistical database maintained by Fryzigg.

Miles Bergman has 5150 metres gained in his 23-game career, which equates to 3.2 miles.

Round Metres Gained Miles Gained
1 152 0.09
2 288 0.18
3 0 0.00
5 239 0.15
6 252 0.16
7 448 0.28
8 230 0.14
9 112 0.07
10 0 0.00
11 17 0.01
13 213 0.13
14 330 0.21
15 191 0.12
16 104 0.06
17 249 0.15
18 86 0.05
19 147 0.09
20 400 0.25
21 373 0.23
22 372 0.23
23 270 0.17
Finals Week 1 373 0.23
Preliminary Final 304 0.19

Unsued medical sub in rounds 3 and 10.

He’s got a long way to go before he catches the current metres gained leader—Dustin Martin (93088 metres or 57.84 miles from 217 games).

From my research, there haven’t been any players with ‘metre’ or ‘yard’ in their names (apologies to “Two-metre” Peter Wright, as I’m not counting nicknames). Unsurprisingly, there also aren’t any players with fathom* in their name, so I can’t use that either.

Other honourable mentions for players with units of measuring distance in their names:

  • Darren Minchington: 4564 metres gained = 179685.14 inches gained
  • Terry Milera: 6772 metres gained = 4.21 miles gained
  • Wayne Milera: 16486 metres gained = 10.24 miles gained
  • Jordan Foote: 476 metres gained = 1561.68 feet gained
  • Zac Foot: 156 metres gained = 511.81 feet gained

Hopefully Bergman continues to develop as a player and has another great year in 2022 with many more metres (and miles) gained.

*A fathom is a nautical unit of measurement for depth, where one fathom is equal to 6 feet (1.83 m).

As always, I apologise to anyone who has already looked at these stats.