Hawks veteran Shaun Burgoyne to play 20th AFL season as he eyes off 400-match milestone

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Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne will have the chance to become the fifth player in AFL history to reach the 400-match milestone after signing a one-year contract extension for next season.

The new deal will see Burgoyne, 37, take on a part-time Indigenous advisory role with the Hawks in 2021.

He will transition into the off-field role full-time once his playing commitments are finished.

Burgoyne, a four-time premiership player, sits fifth on the all-time list for AFL/VFL matches played with 387 across 19 seasons for Port Adelaide and Hawthorn.

Only Dustin Fletcher (400), Kevin Bartlett (403), Michael Tuck (426) and record holder Brent Harvey (432) have played more matches.

Burgoyne has already surpassed Adam Goodes’s record for the most matches played by an Indigenous Australian player and could conceivably move into third place overall before hanging up his boots, if all goes to plan.

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“Shaun continues to set a great example for his teammates through his work ethic and professionalism,” Hawthorn football manager Graham Wright said in a statement.

“To still be able to compete at the elite level at his age is a true testament to his determination and competitiveness.

“While Shaun will pull on the boots again next year, both he and the club are aware that his AFL career is certainly in its twilight.

“With that in mind, we have worked together on an agreement that allows Shaun to continue playing the game he loves and contribute to the side, while also preparing him for a smooth transition into life after football.”

Burgoyne’s off-field role will see him assist Hawthorn in the development and implementation of its Indigenous programs.

The club said the programs would “focus on employment, education and health outcomes as the key pillars to engaging and empowering Indigenous communities”.

AAP

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