Mitchell aiming to stay a Hawk
Midfielder Sam Mitchell hopes to secure a new deal with Hawthorn as soon as possible.
The 30-year-old is off contract this season, along with champion forward Lance Franklin and skipper Luke Hodge. But while Franklin has suspended contract negotiations until the end of the AFL season, Mitchell has made it clear he wants things settled.
I still train every session, I don't have sessions off.Sam Mitchell
The four-time best and fairest winner wants to remain a Hawk, and his manager, Peter Lenton, has started discussions with Hawthorn's football operations manager Mark Evans.
Mitchell said: "I would like to have it done. You would like to at least get the ball rolling, especially when you have a family to look after.''
He believes his form continues to defy his age, insisting he still "feels 25".
He had arguably his finest season last year, averaging 27.2 disposals per match and lifting his efficiency rate to 75.2 per cent.
Mitchell secured his fourth Peter Crimmins Medal - and his second in two years - last season when he polled in 21 out of 24 matches last season for 172 votes, fending off midfielder Brad Sewell and defender Grant Birchall.
He has played 221 games for Hawthorn since being taken as the 36th overall pick in the 2001 Draft.
He said: "I still train every session, I don't have sessions off. I still do everything that is asked of me. I will keep playing for a long time if it's up to me."
Meanwhile, Hodge is set to miss the opening month of the home-and-away season.
He has undergone stabilisation surgery on his left knee, and though he has returned to training he is still mainly restricted to running on his own, boxing or cycling.
Hawthorn are 31/50 to win the Grand Final and 1/150 to finish in the top four.
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