Eagles struggles may tempt Mitchell into retirement sooner

By , Warren Barnsley is a Roar Guru

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    Sam Mitchell of the Eagles is seen in action during the Round 1 AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and West Coast Eagles at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Sunday, March 26, 2017. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

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    A continuation of West Coast’s patchy AFL form and his growing interest in coaching could tempt veteran midfielder Sam Mitchell into retirement.

    The four-time premiership winner is undecided on whether to extend his career to a second season at the Eagles – his 17th in the AFL – after joining from Hawthorn at the end of last season.

    But the 34-year-old hinted having success this year with the ninth-placed Eagles, who head into Thursday’s clash with Geelong after three-straight losses, could factor in his decision-making.

    “I do think about it a fair bit,” Mitchell told Fox Sports.

    “After we win and I play well, I feel great and, ‘yeah, I’m going to play next year’.

    “And then after a loss – or we went down into the Margaret River last week for a couple of days with the wife and she was having a nice glass of wine and I thought, ‘maybe I should retire. I might be able to enjoy one with you’.”

    Mitchell arrived in Perth with no set retirement plans but revealed he regularly discusses his future with the club.

    The 317-gamer has a desire to take up a coaching role when his playing career finishes and he will do so at the Eagles.

    Mitchell admitted had he stayed at the Hawks, he most likely would not be playing in 2018.

    “Sometimes when I’m looking at vision and I’m doing coaching I’m enjoying that more than playing,” Mitchell said.

    “When that becomes a permanent state, then coaching will be the way forward.

    “I’m still really excited by being here and I feel rejuvenated by the place … even though it perhaps hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked yet.

    “As there’s new challenges over here and there’s a little of the unknown, still learning a lot while playing for a new club, I feel like I’m more likely to have played a second season.

    “But I haven’t come to a decision as yet.”

    © AAP 2017