DAVID Mirra is already one of the feel-good footy stories of 2018, and teammate Isaac Smith has revealed a hilarious moment that only adds to the fairytale.
Mirra played his first AFL game at age 27 against Melbourne last Sunday after being recruited in last year’s rookie draft following four years as captain of the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL.
“He’s been waiting I think 10 years, 1200 draft picks went before him or something like that (actually 1489 have been recruited since Mirra first nominated for the draft in 2009),” Smith said.
Smith said Mirra had felt like part of the Hawthorn family for almost a decade — to the point he was the target of a parody Hawks tribute.
“Even though he wasn’t involved with Hawthorn FC for 10 years, Box Hill is so aligned with Hawthorn he spent so many hours around the club,” he said on RSN 927.
“They made a bit of a joke about it, he played in last year’s intra-club and they did a 50-game intraclub video for him. He’d played in that many intra-club games for the club but he couldn’t get a game, he couldn’t get on the list. He took it really well, he thought it was hilarious.”
After a nervous start, Mirra more than held his own against the Demons, finishing with 18 disposals and losing just one of the 10 one-on-one contests he was involved in.
“It was awesome to see him get his chance, it’s amazing you can pick a guy up that’s been trying for 10 years and the influence he’s had in the group,” Smith said, adding the excitement around his debut was a bit different to the usual teenage draftee.
“We were all really excited because we’ve all known him for 10 years and we know the hard work and the sacrifices he’s made just so he could play an AFL game.”