Twin makes late dash

October 6, 2010

Collingwood’s Nathan Brown. Source: Herald Sun

MITCHELL Brown was living it up in Las Vegas at the moment his twin brother Nathan became a part of football history.

For the West Coast utility, a drawn Grand Final was about as likely as the dreaded zero bobbing up on a nearby roulette table.

But as the sound of the final siren blasted through the hotel room TV, Mitchell knew what he had to do. He had to get to Melbourne.

The Eagles big man was last night somewhere over the Pacific, winging his way to the MCG in a frantic last-minute journey home.

“We want to get back for the Grand Final so I’ve pulled my trip up short. Hopefully it will all go to plan,” Mitchell said from Los Angeles Airport yesterday.

“We’ve missed a couple of flights so we’re a bit under the pump. My girlfriend is in Melbourne too so she’s going to come and pick me up. I’ll get in about 12pm and then head off to the game.

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“(Nathan) tried to say he would like me there. Well, we didn’t really go there, but I can read him like a book.”

Brown, the Collingwood version, managed to restrict St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt last week.

While Riewoldt would take his marks and kick his goals, the level of damage he inflicted on the Magpies was blunted by the determination and tenacity of the young Magpie defender.

It was a solid, no-fuss performance that came after the most turbulent of Grand Final build-ups.

Brown was dropped, then recalled, then sent to the opposition’s most dangerous player.

But Mitchell, who was born about 20 minutes after his brother on December 17, 1988, said his older sibling had an ability to focus on the here and now.

“He’s mentally strong, he sets himself for a challenge and he won’t back down from anything,” Mitchell said.

“He keeps positive as well, so it wouldn’t have mattered if he was told a week before or five minutes before, he just does what he has to to do and he gives his best every week.

“He rang me and told me he wasn’t playing, but by the next night he was back in the side … so I wanted to be there for him.

“I was really proud of him. Hopefully he can do the same this week.

“Obviously Riewoldt is a champion of the game and champions don’t get held two weeks in a row, but I reckon Nathan played well on him.

“He’s (Nathan) a confidence player and he’s pretty confident at the moment.”

Those who know him well say it’s no surprise that Brown is thriving.

The 22-year-old will play his 50th AFL game today and it’s a mature, team-first attitude that’s got him there.

It was there when he was sent to VFL club Williamstown for his entire debut season in 2007 despite being a No. 10 draft pick.

It was there when Mitchell was getting games at West Coast that year and Brown was being overlooked.

It was there last week when his Grand Final dreams were shattered by the momentary return of Simon Prestigiacomo.

And it will be there this afternoon when he renews hostilities with Riewoldt in a contest most believe the Saints skipper will win.

But former Williamstown coach Bradley Gotch, who played a major role in developing Brown in his debut year, said the defender’s “faultless” attitude would hold him in good stead.

“He doesn’t get flustered, doesn’t have too high opinion of himself and because he’s team orientated he’ll always do what’s best for the team ahead of himself and that’s why he’s able to deal with it,” Gotch said.

“Because of his personality you’d definitely go with him (on Riewoldt) again. History says sometimes going back to the well doesn’t work, but not many players can curb Riewoldt anyway and he’d probably be better for the run having learned a few things.”

Gotch admitted 2007 had been a steep learning curve for the kid from North Ballarat, but there were obvious signs of professionalism from day one.

“You could tell he was just that ultimate team player,” he said.

<a href=",2005:cluster=, 01 Oct 2010 15:58:25 GMT 00:00″>Twin makes late dash

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