Published on September 27, 2018 10:19 pm


See the full Norm Goss Medal best on ground voting plus the story of David Mirra’s medal win.

There are many storylines surrounding Box Hill Hawks’ Grand Final win over Casey Demons on the weekend, from the unbelievable way they survived throughout the finals series to veteran Brendan Whitecross’ first premiership win after missing out on five due to injury.

But the story of David Mirra stands out. The former captain turned Hawthorn draftee was instrumental in the Hawks come from behind win, marshalling a back six that held Casey to just four goals after quarter time and goalless in the fourth, earning him the Norm Goss Medal – awarded to the best on ground in the VFL Grand Final.

Mirra began the game as a forward, replicating his surprise move inside forward 50 in the late rounds of the VFL season. After struggling to make an impact at that end of the ground, he moved to defence where he gathered 18 disposals, 16 kicks, eight marks – many of which were intercepts – as well as a team high seven tackles.

It capped off a big 12 months for the former Box Hill captain, with the defender making his AFL debut in 2018 having been drafted to Hawthorn after eight years at Box Hill.

Mirra – the premiership captain of the Hawks in 2013 – spoke post game on what it meant to win the flag after heartbreak in recent years.

“When you lose 2014, 2015 and a preliminary final last year, to get back here on this day is such an amazing feeling,” said Mirra.

“To have the feeling again with a new bunch of blokes, it’s amazing.

“The plan going forward didn’t work at all, so Newy (Chris Newman) flicked the switch and said get down back again, so I moved down back and T.O (Tim O’Brien) was very good up forward.

“Playing forward is something im working on so hopefully I can master that craft, work on it during the season and get better at it.”

Despite conceding the first four goals of the match, and trailing Casey right up until midway through the last term, Mirra said the group never lost belief due to their experience in big moments during the 2018 finals.

“The feeling was one of belief really, because we’ve been there before, we’ve played those games,” said Mirra.

“We played Port Melbourne in an elimination final we got over the line with the last kick of the day, and we got over Williamstown by a point so for us it was just hanging in the game and making sure we weren’t getting blown out on the scoreboard.

“Casey missed a lot of opportunities that they probably should have kicked.

“It just kept us in there and we had a sniff. When it was our turn to capitalise in the last half we did.”

Capitalise they did, outscoring the Demons three goals to three behinds in the final quarter to add yet another flag to an extremely proud and successful club.

“I’ve been at the club since 2010 and when I first got in, it was instilled that you buy into the culture, and everyone buys into the culture,” Mirra said.

“We’ve got a culture that is a brotherhood and we want to respect that.

“We all play on spirit and that’s the main thing, no matter what the result is, we want to come off the ground knowing that we gave each other 100%.

“It’s an elite environment, when you put good people into good places, good things happen and that’s happening from a board level right through to the players.”

by Mark Koelmeyer



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