All-time Hawthorn great Sam Mitchell has laughed off Wayne Carey’s suggestion that he would struggle to find a place at another AFL club.
Before Carlton suffered the biggest loss in their history, the main talking point out of Friday night’s forgettable mismatch was Carey’s stunning observation during the first half.
The Channel Seven commentator pointed to Mitchell’s lack of pace and speculated about whether the midfielder could find a spot on another team.
“Just having a look at Sam Mitchell, I want to ask you a question, would he get a game at any other club?,” Carey said.
“Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an absolute champion, but if you’re in a lesser team, a team that’s not winning, you’re expected to put pressure on and his pace doesn’t allow him to do it.
“In any other team his pace would be a concern.”
Fellow commentator Cameron Ling immediately argued against Carey’s point and Twitter predictably lit up.
There did not appear to be any support for the North Melbourne great’s point of view.
Mitchell was among the best for Hawthorn on Friday night and was told about Carey’s comments immediately after the game.
“What can you say? He’s a media person, he’s paid to have an opinion and if that’s his opinion, that’s fine,” Mitchell said.
“There’s nothing I can say – I can’t (say) he wouldn’t have gotten a game, because other then Lethal (Leigh Matthew), he’s probably the greatest player.
“I will work on my speed, I suppose.”
The three-time premiership star has played 276 games for the Hawks.
There is no chance Mitchell will play elsewhere, but he said he had “absolutely no idea” whether another club might want him.
“My birth certificate says that I’m probably not too attractive a commodity to too many other clubs,” he said.
Commenting on his lack of speed, Mitchell added: “I guess I’d get found out at a few other clubs, apparently.”
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was far less keen to discuss Carey’s eyebrow-raising opinion.
“It’s not even worth responding to really, is it?,” he said.
Early on Saturday morning, Carey went on Twitter in an attempt to clarify his comment.
“In TERMS of PRESSURE!!! Teams not as talented as the HAWKS don’t cover as well !! Mitchell’s standing in the game is unquestioned #opinion,” he said.