Hawthorn champion Sam Mitchell has delivered the biggest bombshell of AFL trade week, expressing interest in joining West Coast.
The star midfielder has been secretly working on the move after coach Alastair Clarkson suggested it in a private conversation two weeks ago.
The proposal would see the four-time premiership winner traded to the Eagles on a one-year playing contract, with a view to him securing a coaching gig with the Perth-based club after his playing career.
The Eagles are coached by Adam Simpson, a former assistant coach with the Hawks under Clarkson.
“He [Clarkson] is, in a sense, looking out for me,” Mitchell, currently on holidays in New Zealand, told Melbourne radio station SEN.
“We had a very open chat and he said, ‘look I know that you want to go into coaching, you’re not going play forever with Hawthorn … would it be something you’d be interested in, to go and play for a little bit and then going into coaching?'”
“You could have knocked me over with a feather.”
Mitchell said his young family is open to the move, and despite being far from a done deal, it could provide a positive outcome for both the Hawks and Eagles.
“It could be a win for Hawthorn and help free up the salary cap and not have to move on all the guys that are being talked about at the moment,” Mitchell said.
“And hopefully I can go over and help West Coast, if that’s what happens.”
“If I stay at Hawthorn, that’s OK, that’s great … if I move to West Coast, I’d be really excited by something new and a new prospect.”