AFL fans rally around Sam Mitchell after scary development during family holiday

The Hawthorn coach spent Christmas Day in a New York hospital.

Sam Mitchell and wife Lyndall.
Sam Mitchell, pictured here with wife Lyndall. Image: Getty

Sam Mitchell is recovering from a bout of pneumonia in a New York hospital, but the Hawthorn coach is expected to make a full recovery. The 41-year-old has been travelling with his family in the United States, and started feeling ill last week.

He was admitted to New York University Hospital over the weekend and spent Christmas Day there, having been diagnosed with pneumonia. He is expected to remain in hospital for a few more days.

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Hawthorn chief executive Ashley Klein said the club has been in regular contact with the Mitchell family. "Importantly, Sam is improving and recovering well," Klein said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The club has been in regular contact with (Sam's wife) Lyndall, and we will obviously continue to provide support in any way we can. We would like to express our thanks to the NYU hospital and its medical team for their care and support."

Sam Mitchell, pictured here with daughters Emmerson and Scarlett.
Sam Mitchell with daughters Emmerson and Scarlett. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

A former Hawthorn player, Mitchell has just finished his second season as Hawks head coach. He owns a 15-30 record in his two seasons at the helm since taking over from Alastair Clarkson.

Mitchell won four premierships with the Hawks as a player, and finished his 329-game playing career with West Coast in 2017. Fans have been sending well-wishes to the AFL champion on social media.

Hawthorn optimistic of rebound amid Jack Ginnivan signing

The Hawks have spent two years in the doldrums under Mitchell's leadership, but there are hopes of a quick turnaround. They managed to snare Collingwood premiership winner Jack Ginnivan for the 2024 season, although Kane Cornes questioned whether the young gun had already made a mistake at his new club.

Ginnivan wasn't required on the first day of the Hawks' pre-season in November after playing in Collingwood's grand final triumph over Brisbane. The Hawks gave the midfielder until mid-December so he could have a decent break after Collingwood's premiership campaign.

But according to Port Adelaide 300-gamer Cornes, the 20-year-old should have fronted up off his own bat. Cornes pointed out a number of players at other clubs who made the effort to show up even though they wouldn't have been required.

“I don't think with Dylan (Stephens) and his experience he was required to be there, but he turned up at his new club (North Melbourne) and he won the (running) test,” Cornes said on SEN radio. “Jy Simpkin was there, he didn't need to be there. Liam Shiels was out there in season number 16. I thought, ‘Good on you Liam for turning up and setting the example which is what you’re there to do’.

“At the Bombers, Dyson Heppell was there. Todd Goldstein was even there, this guy is 34 years of age. At the Hawks, James Sicily was there, Dylan Moore was there, and James Worpel was there, they didn’t need to be there. One player who wasn't there was Jack Ginnivan.

“Jack Ginnivan needed to be there, I don't care what anyone says. He wasn't required to be there by law because he played long in the season, he played in the grand final. That means you get extra leave and he's probably not required back for some time yet. But if you were ever going to want to have a first impression, Jack Ginnivan needed to be at his new club on day one of pre-season.”

with AAP

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