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Ball magnet Mitchell

April 21, 2017 4:04 PM

Mitchell's impressive tackling featured in last week's Plays of the Week.

In what has proved a difficult start to the year, Tom Mitchell has been a shining light for the Hawks.

The 23-year old is currently leading the league in disposals, after his first month in the brown and gold has seen 37, 38, 27 and 32 disposal performances.

The former Swan arrived at Hawthorn over the off-season with a reputation as a tough, hard-running, possession-accumulating midfielder and he has done that reputation no harm.

In fact, the statistics suggest he has enhanced his standing throughout the league.

His 33.5 possession average is one of five statistical categories he is on track to set a new personal best in.

Here’s that list:

Disposals- 2017 average: 33.5, previous best season average: 27.88 (2016)
Tackles- 2017 average: 7.25, previous best season average: 6.47 (2015)
Clearances- 2017 average: 5, previous best season average: 4.17 (2014)
Contested possessions- 2017 average: 13.5, previous best season average: 12 (2016)
Uncontested possessions- 2017 average: 20.75, previous best season average: 17.16 (2015)

In a strong indication of the Hawks’ lacklustre start to 2017, 60 players sit between the league-leading Mitchell and the Hawks next highest disposal getter, fellow recruit Ricky Henderson (averaging 23.8 touches after four games).

Mitchell will be hoping for more support this weekend, as the Hawks on-ballers confront yet another star-studded midfield in the West Coast Eagles.

To illustrate the depth of the Eagles midfield, while Mitchell is the sole Hawk representative inside the league’s top 60 disposal getters, the Eagles have six players inside that bracket.

These six Eagles include Andrew Gaff (averaging 33.3 disposals), Luke Shuey (30.3), Matt Priddis (28), Sam Mitchell (26.3), Elliot Yeo (25) and Chris Masten (24).

Read: Opposition analysis - a closer look at the Eagles