After playing junior footy, Gavin played for Towns in 1991 and Saints in 1992 and 1993 in the West Kimberley Football Association winning the best and fairest for both years for that Club. He also won the ABC award during both of these seasons. Gavin played the TIWI islands in Melbourne in 1992. Later, he won the Broome sports star of the year award. Subsequently, he was recruited by Claremont coach Gerard Neesham who saw him play for a West Kimberley combined side against the North Pilbara.
Mitchell, a distant cousin of Tigers premiership player Kevin Mitchell, was a member of the Claremont side that beat Subiaco by 35 points in the grand final of the Emu Export Cup pre-season competition. In his first season with Claremont (1994) he played in all but one of Claremont's nine wins. Gavin also played in the WAFL Grand Final
At age 21 Mitchell was named in the WA squad for the match against South Australia at Football Park in Adelaide. WA won that game 10.14 to 7.18. It was the first win since 1986 by WA against SA at Football Park. Gavin kicked one goal in that game.
Later Gavin played for the AFL team, the Dockers, and subsequently for St. Kilda.
(Photo : courtesy of the West Australian permit : (008 667 632)
Gavin Mitchell (born 28 December 1972)
Known for his pace and goalsneak ability, Mitchell debuted with the Fremantle Dockers in 1996, a season where he played 21 matches. Despite having played for Claremont Football Club in the West Australian Football League in 1994, the official AFL records list Mitchell as being drafted from West Kimberley , hence making him one of the few players to have been from outside of the main state leagues. In 1997 he played 15 games but was traded to the St Kilda Football Club for 1998. He performed well for the Saints, playing 23 games for 22 goals, including a haul of four.
1999 saw further improvement from the mustachioed Mitchell, where he booted 34 goals from 20 matches. In 2000, however, Mitchell fell out of favour. After a bag of 5 goals in the Round 1 loss to Sydney, his form tapered and he averaged only 8 disposals for a total of 1 goal over the next 5 games. This saw Mitchell dropped from the side, although he was recalled in Round 15. By then, the Saints were bottom of the ladder, with the midfield unable to supply Mitchell with enough crumbing opportunities. He failed to perform in his next two games, which turned out to be his last with the club. He was delisted at the end of the 2000 season.
Mitchell played three State games for Western Australia, in 1994, 1996 and 1998, all at Football Park against South Australia.
Mitchell is now the head coach of the South Hedland Swans in the eastern Pilbara. The Swans, after a disappointing season in 2006, are at the top of the local ladder after the first round in 2007.