AFL Success Story

Introduction: Ignited Passion for Local Fields

In the dynamic world of Australian Rules Football (AFL), each player’s journey is a unique and inspiring AFL Success Story testament to passion and perseverance. David Mirra, a retired AFL player and two-time premiership VFL star, epitomizes this spirit. From emulating heroes in his backyard to gracing the MCG, Mirra’s AFL Success Story is a dedication and hard work showcase.

Our guest for Episode 54 of the Prepare Like A Pro Podcast is David Mirra

As a young player who was no longer eligible for junior football, Mirra joined Box Hill in the Victorian Football League (VFL) in 2010. In his first season with the club, he played just one senior game, spending the rest of the season playing in the development team which won the AFL Success Story premiership. From 2011 onward, Mirra was a regular senior player for Box Hill. He became a solid and dependable defender and had been selected for the VFL in-state representative matches on three occasions. In 2013, Mirra led Box Hill to a grand final win after club captain, Daniel Pratt, was unable to play because of injury. He has been named in the VFL Team of the Year four times and won the club’s best and fairest in 2016 having previously been runner-up on four occasions.

To the end of the 2019 season; Mirra has played 155 senior games for Box Hill and captained the side for four seasons from 2014 to 2017. He has captained the Box Hill Hawks in 78 matches, a club record.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Guest Intro
  • His love for the game and fond memories of watching Essendon FC play and playing footy in the backyard with his dad
  • David’s journey as a later developer to some of his mates growing up
  • His mentors along his journey such as David Banfield, Brendon Bolton, and his family (check out their awesome interviews in our podcast list!)
  • How he values hard work and persistence
  • Why sacrifice was crucial for his success
  • His insight into his approach to preparing for AFL football includes the training, recovery, and mental side.
  • His approach to his development breaks it down into three key areas
  • The importance of living an elite lifestyle and leading by example
  • Why he chose to play for Boxhill and why he grew to love the club
  • The things that worked and haven’t worked throughout his career

Discovering the AFL Dream: Childhood Passion Unleashed

Mirra’s intense love for footy ignited in childhood. Pretending to be players like James Hird and Matthew Lloyd in his backyard, he dreamed of running onto the MCG. However, the dream seemed distant until he turned 18 and entered the TAC Cup footy scene.

The Draft Year: Transitioning to Elite Levels

Entering the draft at 18, Mirra faced challenges transitioning from local footy to the elite TAC Cup. The demands of speed and professionalism required a significant step up. Mirra’s Gold Coast debut marked a pivotal moment, instilling confidence in his ability to compete at the TAC Cup level.

Leadership and Work Ethic: Mirra’s Hallmarks at Box Hill Hawks

Mirra’s time at Box Hill Hawks showcased on-field prowess, leadership, and work ethic. Acting as captain during premiership victories, he became a linchpin in the team’s success. Mentors like David Banfield and coaches like Brendan Bolton shaped his approach to the game.

Balancing Act: Harmony Between Dreams and Reality

Mirra highlights the delicate balance between pursuing the draft dream and maintaining VFL football standards. The journey involved challenges, setbacks, and a relentless pursuit of improvement. Focusing on being the best teammate rather than personal achievements proved to be the winning formula.

Trifecta of Success: Physical, Mental, Footballing Development

Mirra’s success encompassed physical, mental, and footballing development. Emphasizing running capacity, he aimed to match midfielder fitness levels. Striking a balance between football and personal life was crucial for a long and fruitful career.

Influence of Mentors: Learning from the Best

Mirra credits mentors and coaches for his career. From Banfield’s support to insights from Bolton and figures like Carroll, Bello, and Newman, Mirra’s journey was shaped by wisdom and guidance.

Choosing Box Hill Hawks: A Natural Alignment

Mirra chose Box Hill Hawks for its proximity and connection between Eastern Ranges and Box Hill. This decision aligned with Mirra’s career vision, providing a platform for growth.

Life Beyond AFL: Mirra’s Current Pursuits

While his AFL journey peaked, Mirra continued working as the Campus Sports Manager at Wesley College and playing for Collegiates. Contributing to talent development and enjoying the game’s camaraderie, he remains optimistic about his current team’s season turnaround.

Conclusion: Legacy Beyond the Scoreboard

David Mirra’s journey from local fields to AFL glory is a tale of passion, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. His legacy extends beyond the scoreboard, influencing aspiring footballers to embrace a holistic approach to success. Mirra’s story is a beacon for those navigating the challenging path from local dreams to the grand stages of the AFL.

People mentioned:

  • Mick Mirra
  • David Banfield
  • James Hird
  • Blake Caracella
  • Matthew Lloyd
  • Sam Blease
  • Brendon Bolton
  • Marcos Bellos
  • Max Bailey
  • Chris Newman
  • Ed Curnow
  • Sam Gibson
  • Sean Murphy
  • Sam Switkowski
  • Jarrad Rivers

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