Silk has eye on record

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - SAM LANDSBERGER

SHAUN Bur­goyne had one sim­ple ques­tion for Hawthorn coach Alas­tair Clark­son on the first day of his 19th pre-sea­son.

The vet­eran Hawk — who is as leg­endary as he is ver­sa­tile — wanted to know where he would be train­ing.

With the de­fend­ers? The for­wards? Or per­haps in the mid­field.

“I couldn’t get an an­swer,” Bur­goyne said.

“I asked Clarko where am I go­ing to do my pre-sea­son and he didn’t say.

“I’ll just jump over all the dif­fer­ent lines in pre-sea­son I think and when the games come around, he’ll tell me where I’ll play.”

That is the beauty of Bur­goyne. At 36 and af­ter 358 games, the man they call “Silk” is still good enough to play any­where.

And while Hawthorn has made a habit of squeez­ing out its cham­pi­ons as they slowly wear out, Bur­goyne hasn’t con­sid­ered giv­ing foot­ball away.

“I don’t want to en­ter the sea­son as if it’s go­ing to be my last,” he said.

“I’ve never done that and I think that can bring a whole set of neg­a­tiv­ity around your mind­set.

“That can af­fect your prepa­ra­tion and, for me, it’s ope­nended when I fin­ish — whether that’s one game, one year or two years, I don’t know.

“But when that time comes, I know I’ll be happy with what I’ve been able to do and what I’ve achieved.

“I can’t al­low any neg­a­tiv­ity to en­ter my mind­set — but it’s com­ing at some stage.”

Bur­goyne has played 132 out of the past 139 games — a cou­ple of ham­strings cost him games this year — but 2019 shapes as a big sea­son for him.

Bur­goyne is just 15 games away from break­ing Adam Goodes’s indige­nous record of 372 games, which he could achieve in Round 16 against Colling­wood.

“He [ Goodes] is ob­vi­ously one of my idols,” Bur­goyne said.

“He’s a friend and his record is some­thing that is out­stand­ing for him and for indige­nous peo­ple across Aus­tralia.”

Then, af­ter that, the ques­tion will hone in on whether Bur­goyne can play on in 2020 — and be­come just the fifth player in VFL-AFL his­tory to play 400 games. Bur­goyne is open to it. “It’s a ques­tion I get asked a fair bit — will you get to 300? Got to 300, will you get to 350? Got there, now will you get to 400?” he said.

“It’s a pos­si­bil­ity, but I’m not bank­ing on get­ting there. I just want to get through pre-sea­son this year and then ev­ery game as if it’s my last.”

And why wouldn’t he be open to it.

Bur­goyne was feel­ing fresh on Mon­day and did not re­quire post-sea­son surgery.

In­stead he went on a fam­ily hol­i­day to Dis­ney­land and Hawaii be­fore join­ing draftee Ja­cob Kos­chitzke on the track, who was yet to blow out two birth­day can­dles when Bur­goyne made his AFL de­but.

I don’t want to en­ter the sea­son as if it’s go­ing to be my last. I’ve never done that and I think that can bring a whole set of neg­a­tiv­ity. SHAUN BUR­GOYNE

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