The AFL trading period is in full swing and thus far, the most significant change of sides seems to be the defection of Sam Mitchell from the Hawthorn Hawks to the West Coast Eagles.
Mitchell and pick 54 of the next draft go to West Coast in exchange for picks 52, 70 and 88. Observers think that the deal puts the Eagles, who lost in the first week on this year’s finals, straight back in contention for the 2017 premiership.
He has won best and fairest for the Hawks five times in 15 seasons and was second to Dane Swan for the 2011 Brownlow Medal, but one has to wonder how much time Mitchell has remaining on the clock, since he surpassed the 300-game milestone this season and the Mooroolbark native will be well into his 34th year when the 2017 AFL season bounces, and will be 35 not long after the Grand Final is played on 30 September 2017.
Still, Mitchell is a walking, talking disposal machine, having gone over 700 for the 2011 and the 2015 season and being beyond 600 in five other seasons.
If he can remain even close to that sort of form, he will be a formidable addition to the contributions of Matt Priddis and Luke Shuey.