An essential component of Hawthorn’s resurgence and a Premiership captain, Sam Mitchell has carried himself with maturity beyond his years in the formative seasons of his career. The dynamic midfielder finds the football with ease and has accumulated a raft of awards as a result. A dual best and fairest winner at the Eastern Ranges, Mitchell was overlooked at the 2000 National Draft. A brilliant season as part of the Box Hill Hawks VFL Premiership in 2001 put recruiters on further notice of his ability, with Hawthorn selecting Mitchell with pick 36 at the 2001 National Draft.
Mitchell played nine AFL games in his debut season, still spending enough time in the VFL to record a remarkable win in the JJ Liston Trophy. In 2003, Mitchell stamped himself as a class player with victory in the NAB AFL Rising Star and back-to-back Most Determined awards at Hawthorn. Since then Mitchell has continued his consistently high output, dominating at the clearances and developing into a key leader of the young Hawks. This ascension culminated in his win in the Hawks’ 2006 Best and Fairest
Named the new captain of the Hawks for 2008 after a high Brownlow finish in 2007, Mitchell joined a select group to have led their club to a Premiership in their first year as skipper. He also collected The Age Player of The Year award. In a difficult 2009 for the Hawks, Mitchell was a shining light, winning his second Peter Crimmins Medal. At the end of the 2010 season Mitchell handed the captaincy over to teammate Luke Hodge. Going from strength-to-strength, Mitchel l finished second in the Brownlow Medal in consecutive seasons in 2011-12 and made it four Peter Crimmins Medals – equalling club great Shane Crawford. Having reached the 200-game milestone, Mitchell is a regular on football’s major TV and radio programs, where his sophisticated but relaxed personality is on display and an accomplished public speaker and at ease as a key note presenter.