With the respect and admiration from teammates, opponents and fans Australia wide, Tom Mitchell has cemented himself as one of the best players in the game.
Currently in his ninth AFL season, Mitchell’s career has spanned two clubs and one Brownlow medal, with plenty of time left to add to his already impressive list of accolades.
The son of former Sydney Swans player Barry, Mitchell grew up in Melbourne before relocating to Western Australia as a 15 year old, where he played his formative years of football with Claremont in the WAFL. He was drafted to the Swans under the father-son rule in 2011, and made his AFL debut in 2013.
Mitchell played 65 games over his five seasons with the Swans, his best season 2016 where he played every game including the losing Grand Final against the Western Bulldogs. Ahead of the 2017 season, Mitchell requested a trade to Victoria and joined Hawthorn.
The change of scenery had an immediate impact on Mitchell’s game, where he became a key part of the midfield. He gathered 787 possessions in 22 games, breaking the VFL/AFL record for the most disposals in a home and away season. He was named in the All-Australian side for the first time, finished runner-up in the Brownlow Medal, and won his first Hawthorn Best and Fairest.
Round 1 of the 2018 season saw Mitchell pick up where he left off, amassing 54 disposals and breaking the VFL/AFL record for most disposals in a game. He subsequently became the first person to have multiple 50+ disposal games in the season when he accumulated another 50 touches in Round 15. He set another record for most disposals in a season (home and away and finals), with 825 over 24 games.
Mitchell was awarded the Brownlow Medal for 2018, finishing four votes clear of second place. It came as no surprise when Mitchell was selected as an All-Australian and won the Hawthorn Best and Fairest, Leigh Matthews Trophy and Lou Richards Medal.
Ahead of the 2019 season, Mitchell sustained a broken leg which kept him on the sidelines for the season. While a shocking blow, Mitchell dedicated himself to his recover and discovered other interests, including study and travel.
Mitchell made a successful return to the engine room in 2020, stepping up as a young leader as Hawthorn build towards a new era.