As Tom Mitchell celebrates his 25th birthday, we decided to come up with a list of 25 achievements the ball magnet has managed before reaching his quarter of a century milestone.
1 - October 2011
With his father, Barry, having played 170 games with Sydney across 13 seasons with the Swans, Tom Mitchell’s eligibility as a father-son selection takes the next step as Sydney commit to drafting the talented youngster at the next month’s AFL Draft.
2 - November 2011
With pick 21 in the 2011 AFL National Draft, Tom Mitchell officially becomes a Swan. He is recruited alongside Jordan Lockyer (pick 43), Alex Brown (pick 61) and Nathan Gordon (pick 85), none of whom remain at the club.
3 - June 2013
Mitchell makes his long-awaited senior debut half-way through his second year in the system. It was a Round 10 game against Essendon at the SCG. The Swans were comfortable winners by 44 points and Mitchell, playing predominantly forward, collected 18 touches, six tackles, six marks and kicked 1.2.
4 - June 2013
The following week, in his second AFL match, Mitchell is awarded a Rising Star nomination in his side’s 77-point win over Adelaide in Adelaide. It is the first time of many that Mitchell gathers 30 or more disposals as he finishes with 31 possessions, 10 tackles, five inside 50s and a goal.
5 - July 2013
Mitchell is awarded his first Brownlow votes in just his sixth career game. Awarded two votes, the 20-year old had 23 touches, six tackles and booted three goals in the Swans’ 129-point drubbing of the GWS Giants, in what was their second year in the AFL.
6 - September 2013
Mitchell plays in his first final, a qualifying final at the MCG. We would feel sorry for Mitch for the fact that he lost this game, but it was against the Hawks and we won by 54 points!
7 - May 2014
Playing for the Sydney Swans against Eastlake in the NEAFL, Mitchell gathers a ridiculous 64 disposals and four goals in his side’s 131-point win. The tremendous tally was the largest ever recorded by Champion Data across any league in the country. 20 years of age at the time, his stat sheet consisted of 28 kicks, 36 handballs, four goals, five tackles, 14 marks, 12 clearances, 27 handball receives and 16 hard-ball gets.
8 - June 2016
In Round 11 2016, Mitchell notched up his 50th career game in style against the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium. The midfielder had 33 disposals, 14 tackles, six clearances and a goal in a performance that earned him three Brownlow votes.
9 - September 2016
After missing out on the 2012 and 2014 Grand Finals, Tom Mitchell finally got his chance on the biggest stage of them all. Unfortunately, Mitchell misses out on the glory as the Bulldogs are too strong for the Swans but he is one of his side’s best performers on the day with 26 disposals, 13 tackles and two goals.
10 - October 2016
Mitchell finally sees the light and is traded from Sydney to Hawthorn. The Hawks landed the 23-year-old after agreeing to send the Swans their first-round pick - number 14 overall - at the upcoming draft. Having played 65 games for the Swans over his five seasons, Mitchell joins the Hawks as he looks to lead his new club into a new era.
11 - March 2017
In the opening round of the season, Mitchell runs out for his first game in brown and gold colours. The on-baller wastes little time in introducing himself to his new fans, collecting 37 possessions, four tackles and 10 inside 50s.
12 - May 2017
Early on in his first season as a Hawk, Mitchell surpasses Greg Williams’ average of 26.9 disposals over his 250-game career. It is the new benchmark for the highest average disposals for a player who has played at least 50 VFL/AFL games.
13 - July 2017
In a five-game stint between Rounds 14 and 18, Mitchell is awarded Brownlow votes in every outing. The run, which includes three best on ground honours, tallies Mitchell a total of 12 votes as he averages 38.4 disposals, 5.6 tackles, 7.4 clearances and 1.2 goals per game.
14 - July 2017
Mitchell continues to set an unprecedented pace throughout the 2017 season as he sets a new record for most consecutive 30+-disposal games in history. His 37 touches against Fremantle in Round 18 brings up his 14th such game in a row. The run ends the following week against Sydney, as the former Swan notches “only” 26 disposals, what would be his lowest tally of the year.
15 - August 2017
Mitchell sets a new record for disposals in a home and away season, eclipsing the 748 touches Collingwood’s Wayne Richardson posted in 1971. His 44-possession effort against Carlton was enough to secure the mantle, with one game remaining to finish the season!
16 - August 2017
Robert Harvey’s near-20-year hold over the title of most 30-disposal games in a single season (17 games) is toppled as Mitchell notches his 18th, then 19th, then 20th 30-disposal game in the final three weeks of the 2017 season.
17 - August 2017
As well as the multitude of possessions, Mitchell finishes the year with the ninth-most tackles recorded by any player across the competition. The high finish confirms Mitchell’s ability to have an influence on both sides of the contest.
18 - September 2017
Mitchell was selected in his first All Australian side after a stellar 2017 season, which saw him average 35.8 disposals in his first year in the brown and gold. He was named in an outstanding on-ball brigade which consisted of the previous two Brownlow Medallists, Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield.
19 - September 2017
With 25 Brownlow votes, Mitchell finishes third in the count behind Martin (36 votes) and Dangerfield (33). Mitchell polled in 11 of his 22 outings, being awarded best on ground honours in six occasions.
20 - October 2017
A cherry is placed on the top of Mitchell’s year, as he is crowned the 2017 Peter Crimmins Medallist. A red-hot favourite entering the night, the midfielder coasted home, 54 votes ahead of the second-placed Ben McEvoy.
21 - January 2018
Mitchell breaks the internet with an Instagram upload of his brand-new puppy, Nala! There is a softer side to the hard-nut!
22 - March 2018
Mitchell broke the league record for disposals in a single game in Hawthorn’s win over Collingwood in Round 1 with an incredible 54 possessions! His extraordinary effort surpassed the previous top of 53 touches notched up by Greg Williams and Gary Ablett Jnr in 1989 and 2012 respectively. Mitchell’s game included eight marks, eight inside 50s, nine clearances and 27 contested possessions.
23 - April 2018
His opening three round performances of 54, 40 and 42 possessions deliver Mitchell yet another record for the most touches ever by a player in the first three games of a season. Good luck to anyone trying to catch the new mark of 136 possessions!
24 - April 2018
Mitchell addresses one of the (ridiculous) criticisms of his 2017 season by becoming the number one clearance player in the competition, averaging 9.1 per game through the opening ten weeks. It is a boost of almost three clearances per game on his All Australian numbers last season, which ranked the midfielder 13th in the competition.
25 - May 2018
Mitchell celebrates his 25th birthday as the competition is delivered a resounding warning that this reign of dominance still has many, many years to go!