IMMEDIATELY post-match on Thursday night, Michael Voss was asked about the form of Mitch McGovern.

In the AFL Senior Coach’s mind, it’s the work McGovern has been able to do over the last two summers which has put the defender in the best possible position to impact.

But off the field, it’s the perspective and motivation a young family has provided which has allowed McGovern complete clarity on the field.

On the weekend of son Hamish’s first birthday celebrations, McGovern - speaking after the win over Richmond - said what Hamish, daughter Margot and wife Kirsten were the key behind what he’s been able to produce in recent times.

“Having two kids and a beautiful wife - a very understanding wife - I put it to them. They’ve been a rock for me, I can’t thank them enough,” McGovern said.

He even had a sticker to prove it.

That pre-game motivation was provided by Margot, and worn proudly by Mitch on his polo post-match on Thursday.


“That sticker is from Margot. It’s a little chicken.

“She told me not to play like a chicken [on Thursday night], so I think I might have made her proud!”

McGovern made plenty proud in the Round 1 win, backing up his solid Opening Round showing with a highly effective performance down back against Richmond.

Amassing 26 disposals (one below a career-best tally), McGovern operated at 92 per cent efficiency, contributing two direct goal assists and nine intercept possessions.

He’ll look to go again for Carlton’s next game, which will be the Good Friday Superclash against North Melbourne. In the process, he’s hoping to bring some joy to a lot more youngsters.

“It’s a game that the Blues really love to play in. We’re just down the road from the Children’s Hospital, it’s a fitting game for us.

“I’m looking forward to the bye this week. We had a really good pre-season with all the boys working their butts off. We’re looking forward to the break, being 2-0 before that is pretty good.”