Sam Mitchell (footballer)
Mitchell during the 2007 AFL Season
|Full name||Samuel Mitchell|
|Date of birth||12 October 1982|
|Place of birth||Mooroolbark, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Eastern Ranges (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 36 2001 national draft|
|Height / weight||179 cm / 84 kg|
|Current club||West Coast|
|Representative team honours|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2016.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2015.
Samuel "Sam" Mitchell (born 12 October 1982) is an Australian rules footballer who plays for the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL). He previously played for the Hawthorn Football Club between 2002 and 2016.
A product of Mooroolbark, in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs, Mitchell played in the under 18 TAC Cup competition with the Eastern Ranges. He was the club's best and fairest player in 1999 and 2000. 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 team's number one rover. He was a member of Box Hill's premiership side in 2001.
Mitchell was recruited to the Hawthorn Football Club in the AFL in the 2001 AFL draft with selection number 36. This selection was received by Hawthorn in the deal which saw Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin traded to Fremantle, whilst Hawthorn gained selections one (Luke Hodge), 20 (Daniel Elstone) and number 36 (Mitchell).
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. 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. He polled 31 votes in just 11 games to win the VFL's best and fairest award, the J. J. Liston Trophy.
In 2003 Mitchell continued to improve, winning the 2003 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.
2008–2010: club captain
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's Gary Ablett, Jr. in the second quarter, however the report was dismissed at the conclusion of the weekend.
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 along with Richmond player Trent Cotchin both finished tied for second place in the Brownlow to Jobe Watson. On 12 January 2016 the World Anti-Doping Agency found Jobe Watson and another 16 Essendon players guilty of taking an illegal substance during the 2012 AFL season, an AFL commission meeting in November 2016 will determine the implications for the 2012 Brownlow Medal. Mitchell was rewarded with the Peter Crimmins Medal in 2011, 2012 and 2016, and became a five-time best and fairest winner at Hawthorn, behind only Leigh Matthews who won eight during his career. On 12 October 2016, news broke that Mitchell was considering a move West Coast and he was officially traded to West Coast two days later.
On October 14 2016, Mitchell completed a trade to West Coast in exchange for earlier pick swaps and a fifth-round selection (Pick 88 at the time).
On 13 July 2015, Mitchell was found guilty by the AFL's match review panel of having kneed the right thigh of Fremantle Dockers player Nathan Fyfe during the second quarter of the previous day's game and was fined $1000 for the offence. The media then brought to light other kneeing incidents involving Mitchell, those being the kneeing of Adelaide Crows captain Taylor Walker in the round 12 game and the kneeing of Greater Western Sydney's Ryan Griffen in round 6 of the 2015 season. Another kneeing video incident surfaced of Mitchell kneeing North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson. The video shows Mitchell walking up to an unsuspecting Thompson and kneeing him in the left thigh. Media reports from 2008 show that an opposition club, Brisbane expressed concerns to the AFL about Sam Mitchell's kneeing of opponents.
Mitchell is often cited as one of the most ambidextrous player in the AFL 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.
- Statistics are correct to the end of the 2016 season
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
Honours and achievements
|Brownlow Medal votes|
|Green / Bold = Won
* = joint winner
|Red / Italics = Ineligible|
- 3x All-Australian: 2011, 2013, 2015
- 5x Peter Crimmins Medal (Hawthorn F.C. B&F): 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016
- Herald Sun Player of the Year Award: 2011
- 2x Lou Richards Medal: 2011, 2015
- Victorian Representative Honours in AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match: 2008
- 2x Australian Representative Honours in International Rules Football: 2014, 2015
- Norwich Rising Star Award (later named the Ron Evans Medal): 2003
- AFL Rising Star Nominee: 2003
- J. J. Liston Trophy (VFL B&F): 2002
- Hawthorn F.C. Captain: 2008-2010
Despite having never won the award, Mitchell has polled a total of 220 Brownlow Medal votes in his career, placing him level with Gary Ablett Jr. for the all time highest number of career votes. In 2016 he broke Robert Harvey's record for receiving votes in more games than any other player.
Mitchell married Lyndall Degenhardt in early November 2009. They have a son born in 2010 and twin daughters born in 2011.
- McFarlane, Glenn (25 September 2013). "It was the trade that made Hawthorn and Fremantle the teams they are today". Herald Sun.
- Oldham, Gordon (17 September 2002). "Box Hill midfielder wins Liston Medal".
- Brereton, Dermott (6 September 2003). "Mitchell, the Extractor, pulling out all the stops".
- Mitchell to captain Hawks
- Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge will ask Sam Mitchell for leadership advice
- "AFL asked 2012 Brownlow Medal runners-up Sam Mitchell, Trent Cotchin to present cases for inheriting Jobe Watson's award". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Warner, Michael (9 October 2011). "Sam Mitchell wins Hawthorn's best and fairest". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Hayes, Mark (9 October 2012). "Midfielder Sam Mitchell wins the Hawthorn best and fairest, his fourth Peter Crimmins Medal". Fox Sports (Australia). News Corp Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Navaratnam, Dinny (8 October 2016). "Sam Mitchell second only to 'Lethal' after fifth Hawks B&F". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell flags possible West Coast move in shock AFL trade". ABC Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Sam Mitchell now a West Coast Eagles player after trade deal struck with Hawthorn". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Robinson, Mark (13 July 2015). "Mitchell: Not my intention to hurt Fyfe". Herald Sun.
- Beveridge, Riley (15 July 2015). "VIDEO: Sam Mitchell knees Ryan Griffen off the ball in third incident, revealed on Fox Footy's AFL 360". Fox Sports.
- "Sneaky Sam throws out a knee". 4 July 2014.
- Sheahan, Mike (1 May 2008). "Hawks under 'corking' scrutiny". Herald Sun.
- Baldwin, Adam (11 June 2015). "Sam Mitchell uses his non-preferred foot more than any other AFL footballer". Fox Sports.
- "Sam Mitchell". AFL Tables. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- "Brownlow Medal Career Totals". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Laughton, Max. "Brownlow Medal stats: Patrick Dangerfield sets record, Sam Mitchell and Gary Ablett the greatest pollers ever". foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 27 September 2016.