The 22-year-old spent time as a youth player with Pittwater RSL, Manly United and Sydney FC before joining Central Coast Mariners in 2019, initially on a scholarship deal.
Montgomery, who played twice for Scotland Under-21s in 2003 and once for the Scotland Future team in 2005, was assistant manager at Central Coast Stadium when Miller arrived. The Leeds-born coach worked closely with Miller during his time at the Mariners academy. So when he took the reins in July 2021, taking over from Alen Stajcic, he was already familiar with the full-back’s capabilities.
“Nick was at Sheffield United as a player and was also a legend there. When he took the top job at Mariners I knew I was going to have a good season because he was with me in the academy. club and he always believed in me and trusted me,” Miller recalled.
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The defender played 22 times under Montgomery for the Mariners last season – one game more than former Hibs striker Jason Cummings, and a handful of appearances less than Dundee United goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and Manchester City centre-back. Hearts Kye Rowles – and Montgomery might have found himself following Miller to Scotland had he succeeded in Motherwell in a reported bid to try to swap him from the A-League to the Premiership.
But Central Coast Mariners owner Richard Peil rebuffed ‘Well’s’ approach, Australian media outlet have been told FTBL that he wanted Montgomery to follow the club’s “three-year plan” and eventually coach in England.
“Monty knows we’re on a three-year plan and I was never going to let him go. We were happy with their approach because it shows that what Monty and (his assistant) Sergio Raimundo are doing here is something special. “Peil said.
“But I was always going to fight tooth and nail to keep him in Australia. I never intended to support him in Scotland.
“He will be EPL coach at some point. It’s only a matter of time.
“He’s a young coach, and as he tells all of our players, you have to be patient and go through the process.
“I’m sure this will be the first of many approaches for him over the next few years.”
Miller reveals why Motherwell might have been so keen to bring Montgomery to Fir Park: “As soon as he got the Mariners gig, I started playing more games, I was more consistent and I was getting better better under its influence,” he explained.
“To play with someone with their experience, you look up to them and listen to what they have to say and you get better and better.”
Miller also revealed the Socceroos legend he looks up to – another young Manly United graduate.
“Manly United have the Lucas Neill Stadium and they’re obviously an Australian legend,” Miller continued.
“A tough tackler, always gives 110%. I was a centre-back, so going from centre-back to right-back, I always looked up to a player like him.
“If I can be half the player he was, then I’ll be on the right track. He was a top player in terms of attitude, leadership – he had it all.”