Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Anthony Mitchell is the kind of player every club needs. He is that player who is in the dressing room early playing pranks on his team mates. He is that player who leads the team by example, the one you can count on in tough games. He is that player who has fought hard to play rugby league because he loves the game and playing alongside his mates.
On Sunday 17th May 2015 Mitchell ran out to play his Milestone 50th Intrust Super Cup Match for the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks. He scored a try for his team at the 8 minute mark before accidently hitting his head on the ground in the in-goal and leaving the field. Returning in the 23rd minute he rallied to settle his team and alongside Captain Dan Beasley, led the Blackhawks to a hard fought 28-0 victory against the Tweed Head Seagulls despite a high injury toll.
When asked what he will remember about his milestone game Mitchell is typically candid, “Knocking myself out in my 50th game”, he says with a laugh.
Whilst Mitchell is now at home in the town where he grew up wearing the green and black of fledgling Intrust Super Cup Club the Townsville Mendi Blackhawks, many of his previous Intrust Super Cup Matches were played in the maroon and white jersey of the Mackay Cutters whilst Mitchell was contracted to the North Queensland Cowboys. During his time at the Cowboys he was part of the Premiership winning Cutters side in 2013 where he played a starring role in their 27-20 grand final win, coming away with the Man of the Match Award.
“Playing 50 Intrust Super Cup games is a special moment for me. I have played alongside many talented players during that time and I was lucky enough to be a part of special moments that I remember fondly.” Mitchell said.
After being released by the Cowboys in 2014 Mitchell was one of the first signings for the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks and has played every game so far in season 2015 after working extremely hard in the off season to recover from shoulder surgery.
“It’s great to have a player of Anthony’s experience and talent in our group, and it’s even more beneficial when he is a local boy with a genuine desire to see our fledgling club successful, not only this year, but into the future.” Coach Kristian Woolf said.
Mitchell’s talent was evident early, when he was selected for the Queensland Under 17s side and went on to graduate from the Australian Institute of Sport program. He played schoolboy football alongside Israel Folau, Dave Taylor and Chris Sandow; who is funnily enough is also his second cousin.
Having played all of his junior rugby league in the Townsville & Districts competition, whilst attending the prestigious Ignatius Park College, Mitchell was lured away from home to make his NRL debut for Parramatta in August 2010. The Hooker moved on to the Roosters halfway through the 2011 season. He notched up 23 matches for the Eels and Roosters in the NRL before finding his way back to North Queensland in 2012.
He played his first game with the Cowboys in July 2012. Mitchell said that returning to Townsville to play for the Cowboys was a dream come true for him and that he had no regrets leaving the Roosters. He has also played representative football for the Indigenous All Stars in 2011 and 2012 which he admits is one of his proudest achievements.
Right now Townsville boy Mitchell is set on creating new memories to be proud of with the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks, “It’s a huge honour to play for the Blackhawks. Not only because it is the team’s inaugural year but also because I get to represent the town I grew up in and play on a field that I played on as a junior.”
“Kristian Woolf has done a great job with the players he has recruited and as a coach he has defined a really special culture at the club early on. I’m really enjoying my footy because I’m surrounded by extremely talented players and good people.” Mitchell said.