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Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell takes out 2018 AFL Brownlow Medal

Hawthorn superstar Tom Mitchell has won the 2018 AFL Brownlow Medal ahead of Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom.

An overwhelming favourite heading into the count, Mitchell made a slow start, but came home strong to finish on 28 votes, four ahead of Sidebottom.

It is Mitchell’s first Brownlow Medal after finishing second behind Dustin Martin in 2017.

Sidebottom and Mitchell interchanged between the first and second placings for most of the night, but a strong second half of the season allowed Mitchell to take home ‘Chas’.

“It can be a challenge (favouritism) to get away from at times,” Mitchell said.

“I’ve had great support around me, my girlfriend Hannah, my family and friends have got me through that, they’ve made it a lot easier.

“Enjoying my football and coming each week where ever we’re playing and just loving playing football with my teammates and having fun along the way is very important.”

The 25-year-old was first taken with pick 21 in the 2011 AFL Draft, spending four seasons with the Swans, before moving to the Hawks in 2017.

Mitchell has been in career-best form since making the move south earning All Australian Honours for the last two seasons.

He also credited the influence of Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson on his game.

“He’s had a massive influence on me since I’ve come over to Hawthorn,” Mitchell said.

The prolific midfielder has averaged 35 disposals in each of the last two seasons including breaking the record for most disposals in a home-and-away season with 787 in 2017.

He practically replicated the same feat in 2018, finishing with 786 disposals in 2018.