Mitch Brown - Salute to humble footy toilers

Anthony Sharwood takes a moment to salute the NRL and AFL battlers who give everything for their team

As the finals near and we sort the footballing wheat from the chaff, let us pause to salute those players who are neither exquisitely talented nor thrilling to watch.

The ones who are Commodores, not footballing Ferraris. The players who have to buy their own drinks in nightclubs, and probably even queue to get in.

That is not to denigrate their contribution. Not by a long stretch. Average players are the infantry who make the generals look good. They are the quiet guy in the office toiling away uncomplainingly while the suits are out to lunch.

We barely notice these players. They never make the headlines. But my club has them, your club has them, every club has them. And without them, our clubs could not compete.

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Earlier this week, a press release from Fremantle Dockers lobbed in my inbox. It announced that 128 gamer, Byron Schammer, would be hanging up his boots for good.

Freo Senior coach Mark Harvey described Schammer as “a popular player around the club who was always committed to his football”. He went on to say that Schammer would be remembered as a “little terrier on the field who always gave it his best shot”.

“Whenever Byron played he always gave it his all,” the coach added.

I never saw Schammer play, or if I did, I never noticed him. But I wish I had. Because I love moderately talented guys who unfailingly give it their best shot. At the end of the day, what more can any fan ask for?

Who is your club’s Byron Schammer or Mitch Brown, the reliable bloke who gives his all? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

I follow Wests Tigers in the NRL. They have a star-studded team. There’s Benji, Lote, Robbie and a bunch of other guys identifiable by their first names alone, all of whom can win games single-handedly.

And then there’s Mitch Brown.

Mitch Brown has performed perfectly adequately in the bulk of the Tigers’ 23 games this year, just as he did a nice, solid, anonymous job in his 20 outings for the Tigers in their successful 2010 season.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens clearly likes Mitch Brown, too. He likes the fact that the guy can fill nearly any position required of him in the outside backs. But above all, I bet he loves his ordinariness.

The Tigers have enough playmakers and jinking runners. They have enough big personalities and superstars. They need a guy who’s just there. A guy who’ll clean up a towering bomb, or make a hard tackle, and get straight back into the defensive line.

As the finals swing into gear, it is not the Mitch Browns or Byron Schammers of this world who will make the difference. The premiers, ultimately, will be decided by the fitness and quality of their best players.

Yet the average players will play a part too. And the ones that succeed will be the ones who continue to embrace their averageness. They won’t try to emulate the stars, or change the solid style of play which has served them so well all season.

They’ll be themselves, confident in their role as a cog, not a supercharged turbo booster. They’ll take their ordinariness and work with it, not fight it.

In football, as in life, that can be the hardest lesson of all. To realise that most of us are desperately average, and to make what we can of life from that point.

Not many of us come to terms with that. But those of us who do are the real superstars. And just you watch as one or more of those average footballing Joes jogs a victory lap on the first weekend in October.

He’s a hard worker, and a toiler, but he is certainly not average. If I was Mitch Brown and read this article i’d be a tad cut, and wanting to come out this weekend and put in a big one vs the Sharks.

“Underrated” is the word I would give him.

Not so sure our man Sheens will find a space for Mitch when Lawrence comes back next week, have no idea why??? Barring injuries I think he may be the 18th man for the final series with Utai being the mandatory bench warmer.

I agree with this article and struggle to see what alot of you all see in mitch brown. solid, reliable and the sort of utility player all clubs need.

I’m a big fan of him because of his versatility and how reliable he is but i disagree with the article stating that Tim Sheens clearly likes him. I think if he was a big fan he’d already be signed for next year.

Mitch Brown does not get the recognition he deserves.
I for one am glad wests-tigers have him.
would like to see him given the opportunity to reach his full potential.
when he does, he will have more than wests-tigers fans, applauding.


I’m a big fan of him because of his versatility and how reliable he is but i disagree with the article stating that Tim Sheens clearly likes him. I think if he was a big fan he’d already be signed for next year.

Agreed, and also would’ve been given first crack at fullback, once McKinnon went down.

Terrible article , I was cringing the whole time I was reading it . Despite the truth , I would be offended if some wrote that about me .

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He should use it as motivation.

Mitch Brown is a talented player but has been pretty average this year. He tries hard which I like. He should improve for next year and hopefully show more potential (and fulfil it).


I’m a big fan of him because of his versatility and how reliable he is but i disagree with the article stating that Tim Sheens clearly likes him. I think if he was a big fan he’d already be signed for next year.

Sheens does like him
He chased him twice He missed him the first time when he resigned with the Sharks back in 07 for 2 years and finally got his man for 2010
Can’t be too many players that has knocked him back originally that he resigned a couple of years later

Mitch is a GOOD football player, I don’t believe for a minute that he would feel under valued by the club, the coach or his team mates. An NRL team now consists of a 25 man squad, this is what a lot of people forget on here, each man knows where he is in the pecking order and the roll he has to play. This is all part of being a professional footballer. Look at the way Flanno slotted in for his last couple of starts. His attitude is professional, to keep busting a gut each week in lower grade and training in both teams, waiting, hoping and praying for his name to be read out, for a crack at NRL. Well done to the whole organisation for the structures they have in place. Go Weststigers!

Read on a another forum he has signed for the raiders for 2012. Be a big blow for the tigers but you cant keep them all

Mitch Brown has never played a bad game for us and is always reliable. Sign him up as he should be on the wing in FG every week.

I think mitch is a top rate player who is cursed with being a utility, he can do a great job almost anywhere! if sheens left him on the wing, center, fb who would do a better job for us to cover the injuries? He should get way more praise for his talent and i really hope hes not going anywhere

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