STRENGTH work in the Hampden league's coronavirus shutdown is paying dividends for Tex Mitchell.
The small forward booted seven goals in Portland's 71-point under 18.5 triumph over Port Fairy on Saturday.
Mitchell told The Standard he was relishing the test of Hampden league juniors and was delighted to stun the Seagulls.
"It was a pretty good result for us. I didn't notice I'd kicked (seven) during the game because there were lots of goals coming in," he said.
I didn't notice I'd kicked (seven) during the game because there were lots of goals coming in.Tex Mitchell
"It sort of felt like everybody was kicking a few.
"It was such a good one to get because they had a couple of ex-Rebels players in."
Mitchell, who played junior football for West Portland before crossing to Hanlon Park, said the Hampden league was a strong standard.
He spent the sport's COVID-19 shutdown executing a strength program to add size to his frame.
"It's been a good challenge to play it," he said.
"Everyone is a lot bigger and that makes it pretty hard.
"I did tonnes of strength training (in the off-season), which was good because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to compete."
He said Portland's under 18.5 side, coached by Tony Jackson, was determined to play contested brand of football.
"We really want to focus on not shying away from the ball," Mitchell said.
"We put our bodies on the line and it's all about playing good, team footy.
"When the ball is in the centre, it's really about getting in and getting it out rather than just waiting for it to come out to us."
Mitchell said Portland's humbling two-point win over North Warrnambool Eagles in round one was an "ego check".
He said the Tigers were confident of a successful season.
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