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More Mitchell magic?

hawthornfc.com.au  June 30, 2017 11:35 AM

Last Time We Met: R9 v Collingwood Despite a strong start from the Hawks, the Pies clawed back a 40 plus deficit to come away winners. See the highlights from the last match up between these two sides.

In Round 9, Tom Mitchell set a new club disposal record, and divided the football world with his 50 touch performance against Collingwood.

Initially, Mitchell’s 50 disposals were deemed low impact by Collingwood Coach Nathan Buckley, who posed the question to journalists in his post-match press conference: “if I said [Mitchell] wasn’t hurting us a lot, would that make sense?”.

Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson adamantly defended his midfielder, saying he “would have thought [Mitchell] was (doing damage) in the first half, because it was 10 goals to four and at quarter-time he’d had 14 disposals and we were six goals in front”.

Buckley has since clarified his comments on Twitter, stating that Mitchell played “an amazing game.”

 

In one of 2017’s fixture quirks, the Hawks are now preparing to face the Magpies again just six weeks (43 days) after the divisive performance.

Since then, the former Swan has averaged 34.5 disposals (a tick under his 35.5 average for 2017), six tackles and six clearances a match, and in the last fortnight he’s added a goal a game to his output.

He has led the league in disposals since Round 2, and currently sits 40 touches clear of the next best (Essendon’s Zac Merrett, 421).

Read: Match preview Round 15

All eyes will be on Mitchell’s stat sheet at the end of Sunday’s game, and you can almost guarantee a question or two about his performance will be asked in the coaches' post-match pressers.

As for Mitchell: “I just try and continually improve each week. As long as I can keep improving and helping the midfield and the team in its entirety, then that’s where my focus will be for the remainder of the season.”

Looking at his 2017 stats right now, it’s both scary and exciting to think what an ‘improved’ Mitchell could achieve.