AFL 2023: Tom Mitchell comments, Hawthorn review, reason for leaving, club responds, trade to Collingwood, honest feedback

Hawthorn football boss Rob McCartney has backed in the club’s feedback model despite ex-star Tom Mitchell’s revelation it triggered his exit last year.

Mitchell – now a Collingwood premiership player – told his Ball Magnets Podcast he “knew they (Hawthorn) wanted me out” last year when he was supposedly singled out and unfairly targeted during a game review session with teammates.

In an interview on SEN with Kane Cornes, McCartney said he had since made contact with Mitchell.

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“I’ve actually since spoken to Tom and importantly I acknowledged how he feels,” he said.

“But in contrast to that, I’ve also listened to Will Day on our best and fairest night on Saturday and how he shared similar honest feedback he received and how it was the catalyst for important reflection, behaviour change and a resolve to improve individual performance and team performance.”

Day, who Mitchell recalled was one of the teammates present for his scathing review, said in accepting the club’s best and fairest award on Saturday night he was grateful for the culture of feedback at the club.

“I guess when you hear them at the time you probably don’t like it, but it probably took until the end of the year and over the off-season until it really did click,” Day said.

“I think that’s something that our club, I’m really grateful for, that we can have those conversations and we know that it’s all because we want everyone to be better.

“The love within the group has been great.”

McCartney referenced Day’s comments and said feedback was part of the game.

“I think the thing I’d like to say about this is there’s no escaping that feedback is a required component. It’s probably the lifeblood of high performance environments,” he said.

“What I’ve noticed about our young emerging group is that they want to get better every day and they’ve made the decision within that there’s a need for some robust and honest conversations.

“When that happens, you need to be able to exhibit the behaviours that are accepted within the group and when you don’t, I think there needs to be conversations around that.”

Originally published as ‘No escaping feedback’: Hawks boss responds to traded star’s claims of unfair targeting

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