Clarkson praises AFL debut, attacks report

a group of people playing a game of football: Tom Mitchell (c) will still be at Hawthorn next season, insists coach Alastair Clarkson. © Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS Tom Mitchell (c) will still be at Hawthorn next season, insists coach Alastair Clarkson.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has praised mid-season arrival Jai Newcombe's seamless transition to AFL, while dismissing as "garbage" reports that Tom Mitchell could be traded.

The Hawks snapped a five-game losing streak on Friday night, recording a 38-point upset win over Sydney at the SCG.

Newcombe made an instant impact with 14 tackles, more than any other debutant in history.

It capped a whirlwind week for the 20-year-old, who was playing for the club's VFL outfit Box Hill prior to being picked up in the mid-season draft.

Clarkson was suitably impressed with the hard-nosed midfielder.

"He had more tackles than possessions, that was the intensity we needed to play with," he said.

"He is just such a grounded kid. He is a country lad. He loves his footy, loves his teammates, and we just thought he was ready.

"We're really pleased he made his debut in this game ... and performed so well.


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Clarkson praises AFL debut, attacks report