FIVE seconds into his Monday media conference, Tom Mitchell mentioned his famous Hawthorn namesake.
The Tom-Sam connection will only grow stronger as the current star aims to build on his stellar AFL season.
The reigning Brownlow Medallist is thrilled that the joint 2012 winner has returned to the Hawks as an assistant coach, seeing his vast expertise as an obvious way to further improve.
Sam Mitchell, one of the best players in Hawthorn’s history and their 2008 premiership captain, is back at Waverley after two seasons at West Coast.
As a midfield assistant this year at the Eagles, he earned widespread praise for his role in their premiership.
Tom Mitchell is yet to pick Sam’s brain but that will happen, a lot, soon enough.
As he spruiked the Hawks’ new sponsorship with Nissan, the first question for Mitchell was how he improves on his dominating 2018 season.
“Obviously having Sam Mitchell on board is going to be great for all the midfielders and I think I will be working pretty closely with him, all the coaching staff,” Tom said.
“But I don’t want to reinvent the wheel too much, just as a team we want to keep improving and build on last year.”
Later, he was asked what a cup of coffee with his namesake might involve.
“He was someone who was a strong leader at the club and also a highly-skilled player, a highly-driven player,” Tom said.
“His mentality, the way he approached the game and some technical parts, how he used his hands and feet, are probably some things I will sit down and discuss them when I get the chance.”
Former GWS star Tom Scully, who is still recovering from a serious ankle injury, is another welcome addition at Hawthorn for Mitchell.
“We saw what he was capable of at the Giants,” Tom said.
“His two-way running, he’s probably similar to the way that Isaac plays.
“So having two wingmen with that sort of running capacity is only going to benefit our team.
“He has a fair bit of work to do and he has a great work ethic, so I’m sure he’ll be on the park very soon.”
Mitchell had shoulder surgery immediately after winning the Brownlow.
He said on Monday that he is back in contact work and the shoulder is no longer a problem.
© AAP 2018