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Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell ‘rattled’ by unusual encounter

Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell’s playing future might be settled but he had a nerve-wracking encounter off the field that left him “rattled”.

It’s certainly been an eventful few days for Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell.

The gun midfielder’s future appeared to be up in the air after the Hawks were prepared to give up one of Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara, Chad Wingard, Jack Gunston or Luke Breust in the Trade Period, which wrapped up yesterday.

New coach Sam Mitchell was reportedly personally ringing rival clubs to attract interest in some of his team’s biggest stars.

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There were rumours the club was ready to negotiate a deal for any player on its list over the age of 26 in order to acquire a first-round draft pick in a bid to expedite the club’s rebuild and move up the ladder.

But the Hawks struggled to attract offers and the players were reluctant to leave the club, meaning Mitchell and his star teammates will all line up in brown and gold in 2022.

The 2018 Brownlow medallist’s playing future may now be settled, but he had a nerve-wracking away from the football field on Wednesday.

Mitchell took to social media to show a magpie had somehow become stuck inside the front grille of his car.

He was alerted to the stray bird by a note, which read: “There is a small bird stuck in your lower grill at the front of your car.”

Accompanied by Hawthorn teammates Finn Maginness and Emerson Jeka, Mitchell then set about the difficult task of trying to release the trapped bird without frightening it.

In videos posted to his Instagram stories, Mitchell can be seen wearing gloves and trying to calm the magpie, but it was having none of it, snapping at his fingers.

“Pretty rattled by this … Only in 2021,” he wrote on Instagram.

Unable to get the bird out, the 28-year-old decided to “bring in the experts”, calling in the help of Victoria’s RSCPA.

But they were also unable to get the magpie out of the grille and eventually had to resort to opening Mitchell’s car bonnet and “pulling the car apart”, before there was finally enough space for the magpie to be carefully prised out, putting an end to a three-hour long process.

Fans joked it was a rare sight for Mitchell to be uncomfortable around a magpie, referencing his traditional dominance against Collingwood in recent years.

In Round 1 of the 2018 season, the inside midfielder broke the record for the most disposals in a VFL/AFL game, accumulating 54 touches against the Magpies at the MCG.

AFL reporter Mitch Cleary jokingly tweeted: “most intimidated you’ve seen him near a Magpie in a while”.

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