Burgoyne eyes AFL's 400 club

Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne will play on for one more season in 2021 while he transitions into a new Indigenous advisory role with the club.

SHAUN BURGOYNE of the Hawks.
SHAUN BURGOYNE of the Hawks. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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

The 37-year-old's new deal will also see him 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 games played with 387 over 19 seasons with Port Adelaide and Hawthorn.

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

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

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

"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 will "focus on employment, education and health outcomes as the key pillars to engaging and empowering Indigenous communities".

"Shaun is a highly regarded and knowledgeable leader within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community," Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves said.

"We are incredibly excited and humbled to be able to utilise his experience to help further develop the work we do within our Indigenous programs.

"The role Shaun has played in shaping our club on-field has been remarkable.

"The exciting part about this new deal is the opportunity it creates for Shaun to have an equally meaningful impact on our club's contribution off the field."