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  1. #1
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    ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

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    Western Bulldogs forward Mitch Hannan has not wasted much time in his 20s.

    Truth be told, he hasn’t had much time to waste.

    But it has not all been plain sailing for the 27-year-old who will line up against his former club Melbourne in the 2021 grand final on Saturday.

    A period of anxiety a few years ago became so bad he considered taking time away from football as everything became an effort.

    Then Hannan shared what he was feeling with others, the cathartic experience leading to him creating a non-for-profit fashion label Mendl as a vehicle for encouraging conversations about mental health.

    “I am obviously not a professional in this space, I just come from a place of good intentions and some personal experience. My ideals are just around trying to be as genuine and authentic as you can around approaching your mates and friends about those kinds of conversations but also just normalising the idea of having those sorts of chats,” Hannan said.

    “In hindsight [developing the idea which he did with friend Mark Losewitz] has helped me as much as it has helped the people who are wearing and hopefully interacting with Mendl.”

    His maturity shines through as he speaks before the biggest match of his life, reflecting the opinion others in football express about Hannan when they say he is just a good bloke.

    It’s hard not to imagine part of the connection he finds with others is due to his gradual rise through the ranks as he played in a premiership for Woodend/Hesket after being overlooked for the Calder Cannons under-18 team.

    He enrolled in an engineering course after finishing school but realised after six weeks it was not where he wanted to be, so he spent the next six months working at a pub, in a café and at building sites to save enough money to see what the world had to offer beyond the Macedon Ranges.

    In the week of the 2012 grand final he caught a plane to Europe to travel with mates for two months.
    Needless to say, an AFL career was not top of mind.

    “At 18, it seemed a bit out of reach,” Hannan said.

    He still loved football though and eventually, as he matured physically and mentally, decided he wanted to reach the highest level he could.

    At first, the VAFA seemed to be that grade as Hannan was best on ground in the 2015 grand final for St Bernard’s as The Snowdogs won the flag. The performance earned him a permanent spot on Footscray’s VFL list in 2016.

    That year he worked hard as he started work as a draftsman at Peckvonhartel, a cool architecture/design firm, on Collins St, Melbourne after graduating from a building design course. He worked 45-hour weeks, arriving at his desk from Macedon at 7.30am on the days he trained, so he could disappear early.

    He enjoyed the balance of work and football as he became a VFL premiership player with Footscray and earned renown for his high leaping exploits.

    “When I made the VFL list at Footscray I was stoked, and then when I played a few games I was thinking in the back of my mind, ‘How good is this. At least I will be able to one day say I played some VFL footy,’” Hannan said.

    But there was more to come as the flag made AFL clubs take notice. When the Demons used pick 46 to select him in the 2016 national draft, Hannan’s life was transformed overnight.

    He became so dynamic in his first two seasons at the Demons, his forwards coach, Geelong premiership player Max Rooke, called him The Cassowary because he thought Hannan was “quiet and unassuming, but kind of deadly” just like the ratite found up north.

    The nickname stuck and two years later he bounded down the MCG in a famous three-bounce gallop that ended in a goal to seal Melbourne’s first finals win for 12 seasons, a play Hannan agrees will live in his memory - and that of Melbourne supporters - forever.

    “No matter what happens with the rest of my footy career, including this grand final coming up, that moment during the 2018 season will definitely be a fond moment,” Hannan said.

    As will his efforts to open up the conversation about mental health, with Hannan describing the period of anxiety as “by far the hardest experience of my life” in a series of videos made for the Mendl Movement.

    On Saturday, Hannan’s worlds collide as he plays a grand final in a Bulldogs jumper against Melbourne after a brilliant preliminary final performance where he showed, once again, his capacity to stand up in games that really matter.

    “No matter what happens it’s going to be a hotly contested game ... it will be a cracking game.”
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  3. #2
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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    So from that it seems that Mitch has played in 3 GF and been on the winning side each time.

    If he performs this week as he did against Port he will give himself every chance of maintaining that streak.
    Life is to be Enjoyed not Endured

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    I was bushwalking in the Daintree in the early '90s. We rounded a bush and about 5-10 metres in front of us was a cassowary standing over an egg in its next. The guide said "nobody move. One at a time we are going to walk backwards in the direction we came from"

    It was pretty scary but it's still one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen.
    In personal conduct be always polite but never obsequious. None will respect you more than you respect yourself. Avoid quarrels as long as you can without yielding to imposition. But sustain your manhood always. Never bring a suit in law for assault and battery or for defamation. The law affords no remedy for such outrages that can satisfy the feelings of a true man.

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    I think I like Mitch Hannan. This is a very different me compared to two months ago but he's been dynamite since the Brisbane game. I thought he played very well in patches in Tasmania as well.

    I'm totally loving how he's harnessed his powers for good by sorting out his decision making and leading patterns up forward so that he doesn't infringe (read, kill Naughton!!!), but there's no doubt that Naughton has hardly skipped a beat since losing Bruce and I believe Hannan stepping up has had a lot to do with it. Whaddya youse reckon?

    He's constantly providing an option up forward, he's hitting the ball hard and busting up play, creating F50 contests and spillages and sometimes hurting the opposition from clever goals or strong marks deep. You have to say he's improved 100% even if you're still not a fan and surely agree he's become an important best 22 player. He's turned into a finals player, a big game player and he plays well in them. Time to inflict some hurt on the Dees Mitchy!

    Reckon he's got a bit to prove this weekend.

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    I was bushwalking in the Daintree in the early '90s. We rounded a bush and about 5-10 metres in front of us was a cassowary standing over an egg in its next. The guide said "nobody move. One at a time we are going to walk backwards in the direction we came from"

    It was pretty scary but it's still one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen.

    Very lucky td. They certainly stop the traffic up there. It would have been the male. As soon as the female lays the eggs she nicks off for good. In fact if she crosses paths with the male and chicks she will likely attack them.

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by HOSE B ROMERO View Post
    Very lucky td. They certainly stop the traffic up there. It would have been the male. As soon as the female lays the eggs she nicks off for good. In fact if she crosses paths with the male and chicks she will likely attack them.
    Woah. Savage.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Interesting story about Bevo and his mates over at Melbourne in the recruiting department whom he is very close with.

    Here : https://www.afl.com.au/news/679056/-...e-vafa-protege

    The part that I found interesting is how upset he was when they took Hannan. Makes more sense now why we got him back and Bevo's faith in him throughout the season.

    Excerpt :

    Of course, there is but one example of a moment where traversing the line of friendship and professional competitiveness has tested the boundaries – when Melbourne drafted Mitch Hannan out of the Footscray VFL program from under the Dogs' noses.

    In 2020, four years on, Hannan requested a trade back to the Bulldogs and he will be an important player on Saturday night at Optus Stadium.


    "We were sitting at Mentone RSL having a quiet beer and it was after they'd picked Mitch up that circle of friends who we'd grown up together were all there," Beveridge said.


    "I was saying 'You've picked him up and I get it, but it just pisses me off because he's our player and we put a bit of time into him'. They were all saying, and not just Lamby and Jase but all of my mates, 'Yeah, but that's just the way it is'. And I'd say 'I get it, I understand, I'm just emotional about it' and they kept arguing.


    "I was trying to separate the clinical from the emotional but I couldn't reason with any of them. Great mates always have heated debates at times but it's good to have Mitch back at our club and he played brilliantly last week."

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  12. #8
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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Bit hard to call for the ball of him.
    The cassowary the cassowary switch. You're hot the cassowary You're ho... too late!
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
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  14. #9
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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Just shorten it to Cass and the call is fine.
    He's played selflessly this year, nice to see him get some scoreboard impact in the past couple of weeks
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    Just shorten it to Cass and the call is fine.
    He's played selflessly this year, nice to see him get some scoreboard impact in the past couple of weeks
    I was one that thought, why did we recruit him? He has done well through the finals, and hope he has a big one on Saturday
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    He played well last week.

    That is a crap nick name though. A cassowary looks a bit like a (admittedly giant) turkey.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    He played well last week.

    That is a crap nick name though. A cassowary looks a bit like a (admittedly giant) turkey.
    Both Brackets and The Lizard are worse.
    Poor Boydy copped "Keith" for his entire career
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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Woah. Savage.
    The cassowary and Pauline Hanson are both from Queensland and volatile. Coincidence?

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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    He played well last week.

    That is a crap nick name though. A cassowary looks a bit like a (admittedly giant) turkey.
    Not when you're close up to one.

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  21. #15
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    Re: ‘Quiet, but kind of deadly’: Bulldog nicknamed the Cassowary makes his mark

    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyedog View Post
    Not when you're close up to one.
    Yeah then it's a dinosaur.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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