Mitchell, Cotchin admit bittersweet feelings over Brownlow
AFL: Sam Mitchell admitted there was "lots of awkwardness” but he and Trent Cotchin were happy to be announced as the competition's newest Brownlow Medallists.
They won't actually receive their own versions of "Charlie” until mid-December but both fronted the media on Thursday to speak about being crowned the league's joint-best and fairest winners from season 2012 after Jobe Watson was stripped of the title.
Mitchell, who then had three children under the age of two, said that year had been a disappointing one from a football and personal perspective with his mother-in-law battling illness.
"We lost a grand final as well,” he said of the premiership decider won by Sydney.
"So before this I look back on it as a season to forget in a sense, but now I guess there's a silver lining there that there's something to be proud of that I was able to achieve an individual honour in a season that carried some burdens of its own.”
Mitchell, who will end his playing days at West Coast before embarking on coaching career, admitted he never considered knocking back the Brownlow Medal once the AFL Commission made its decision.
"Not really, to be honest,” he said. "Better minds than mine are making the decisions on things that we don't know about and in this game you accept the umpire's call and we're both very proud to be Brownlow Medallists.
"There was lots of awkwardness in the way it happened but hopefully from this point on we can put that side of it behind us and just take it for what it is.”
Mitchell did say he felt for both Jobe and his father and Essendon great Tim Watson.
"I don't know Jobe at all. I don't have his phone number or anything like that,” Mitchell said.
"Particularly as a father, I feel for Tim. When I look at my son, if he was going through something like Jobe is going through, you'd be heartbroken for him. So there's that aspect but I don't feel it's my place to reach out.”
Cotchin, who said there was "mixed emotions” in receiving the award, was in Noosa, "in the sunshine”, when he eventually got the call from AFL boss Gill McLachlan.
"Just with the family. I think we were waiting for a four o'clock call from Gill and we were wondering if he had a watch,” he said.
"Given the AFL's sponsored by Tissot, it's pretty awkward, but I think the call came through about 4.08pm.”
Watson garnered 30 votes from the umpires that season, with Cotchin and Mitchell collecting 26.
"We didn't quite have the team success we would've liked, but certainly from my own performances I felt it was the most consistent season I've had,” Cotchin said.