Sam Mitchell (footballer)

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Sam Mitchell
Sam mitchell.jpg
Sam Mitchell playing for Hawthorn during the 2007 AFL Season
Personal information
Full name Sam Mitchell
Nickname(s) The Extractor
Date of birth (1982-10-12) 12 October 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Mooroolbark, Victoria
Original team Eastern Ranges (TAC Cup)
Draft 36th overall, 2001 National Draft, Hawthorn
Height/Weight 179 cm / 84 kg
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current club Hawthorn
Number 5
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
2002– Hawthorn 251 (61)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2008– Victoria (Australia) Victoria 1 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to end of Round 7, 2014 season.
Career highlights

Samuel Mitchell (born 12 October 1982) is an Australian rules football player for the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).

Career[edit]

A product of Mooroolbark, in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs, Michell played in the under 18 TAC Cup competition with the Eastern Ranges. He was the club's Best and Fairest in 1999 and 2000.[1] Disappointed at being overlooked in the 2000 draft Mitchell joined the Box Hill Hawks. After a couple of games in the Development squad he gained promotion to the seniors and completed the season as the teams number one rover. He was a member of Box Hill's premiership side in 2001.

AFL career[edit]

Mitchell was recruited to the Hawthorn Football Club in the AFL in the 2001 AFL Draft with selection 36 (received in the deal which saw Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin head to Fremantle, and the numbers one Luke Hodge and 36 (Mitchell) selections go Hawthorn's way).

Debut season[edit]

The first half of his debut season in 2002 saw him playing with the Box Hill Hawks, until he broke into the Hawthorn side midway through the season due to some amazing form. Following some unimpressive performances where he never managed more than 14 disposals, he was dropped for Round 15 but was recalled after more eye-catching performances in Round 19. It turns out he polled 31 votes in just 11 games for the VFL's best and fairest award, the J. J. Liston Trophy which was the main reason for his constant recalls to the Hawthorn side.

2003–2007[edit]

In 2003 Mitchell continued to improve, winning the AFL Rising Star award and becoming known as "the Extractor" (particularly by commentator Brian Taylor) for his high amount of clearances and ability to win the ball out of middle of the ground.

A solid season followed in 2004, and in 2005 he played a "super" season until a foot injury sidelined him in Round 15. For the 2006 season, Mitchell was named vice-captain of Hawthorn and displayed stellar form throughout the season culminating in winning the Peter Crimmins Medal for Hawthorn's best and fairest.

In 2007 he capped off another wonderful season by coming 3rd in the votes for the highest honour in Australian Football, the Brownlow Medal with 21 votes, 1 short of joint 2nd place winners, North Melbourne's Brent Harvey and Brisbane's Simon Black who both polled 22 votes, and coming 8 votes behind winner of the 2007 Brownlow, Geelong's Jimmy Bartel.

On 6 October 2007, during the Peter Crimmins Medal Event, he was announced as Hawthorn's next captain, taking over the reins from retiring captain Richard Vandenberg.[2]

2008–2010 Club Captain[edit]

Mitchell was ineligible for 2008's Brownlow Medal following a tripping charge in the match against Melbourne in round nine.

On Saturday, 27 September, Mitchell captained the Hawks to the 2008 Premiership, the first in 17 years and the clubs 10th, beating the reigning premiers, Geelong, by 26 points. Mitchell was reported for rough conduct against Geelong superstar Gary Ablett, Jr. in the second quarter, however this report was dismissed at the conclusion of the weekend.

At the end of the 2010 season he handed the captaincy over to Luke Hodge, who was made captain of the 2010 All-Australian team.[3]

2011-present[edit]

Mitchell polled 30 votes in the 2011 Brownlow Medal, but was ineligible to win after an incident in Round 5 of the season. He had the second-most votes, behind Collingwood's Dane Swan. In 2012 Mitchell again was runners up in the Brownlow, this time to Jobe Watson.

Sam Mitchell has won the Peter Crimmins Medal four times (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012), the most of any current Hawthorn player.

Mitchell is often cited as the most ambidextrous player in the A.F.L. and much opinion is made about which is his preferred foot. Although some have claimed that he was originally a left footer who switched to right foot later in his junior career, Mitchell has stated that he has just always tried to use the appropriate foot for the situation. He does however switch to his left foot when he wants to kick longer. Similarly, his handpassing is equally good with either hand, with his 25 metre handpass to Jarryd Roughead in the 2013 Qualifying Final an example of the power he has by hand.

Another of Mitchell's superior abilities is his ability to change direction quickly. He has himself joked about his short legs and lack of leg speed, however his ability to side-step through congestion and confuse the opposition is considered amongst the best in the competition. This, paired with the opposition not being able to predict which foot or hand he will pass with makes him a difficult player to corral.

Personal life[edit]

Mitchell married Lyndall Degenhardt in early November 2009. They have a son called Smith (named after Steve Smith the NFL player), born in 2010 and twin daughters Emmerson and Scarlett born in 2011.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Richie Vandenberg
Hawthorn Football Club captain
2008–2010
Succeeded by
Luke Hodge
Awards
Preceded by
Luke Hodge
Lance Franklin
Luke Hodge
Hawthorn Best and Fairest Winner
2006
2009
2011, 2012
Succeeded by
Brad Sewell
Luke Hodge
Josh Gibson
Preceded by
Nick Riewoldt
AFL Rising Star
2003
Succeeded by
Jared Rivers
Preceded by
Gary Ablett, Jr.
The Age Player of the Year
2008
Succeeded by
Chris Judd