Hawks coach hopes Burgoyne plays on in AFL

Jason Phelan
Shaun Burgoyne (L) looms as a key figure as the Hawks look to return to the finals

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has backed star veteran Shaun Burgoyne to continue his decorated AFL career next season.

The Hawks celebrated Burgoyne's 350-game milestone with a 56-point pummelling of Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday night.

The four-time premiership player, one with Port Adelaide and three with Hawthorn, had 24 disposals and capped his big night with a last-quarter goal.

Burgoyne will be 36 by round one of the 2019 AFL season, but Clarkson isn't ready to farewell a player of his rare class.

"He's going to go down as one of the game's greats and I don't think he is finished yet either," Clarkson said.

"I think he has still got some good footy left in him.

"Hopefully, he keeps his body in good shape and he gives himself a chance to go around again next year.

"We have just taken it year by year for the last nine and who knows if there is going to be a 10th or 11th, but we are hoping so."

Burgoyne, who debuted in round three of the 2002 season, played 107 games in a row before a hamstring injury in round two this year broke the streak.

He looms as a key figure as the Hawks look to return to the finals after finishing 12th last year, the first time they've finished outside the eight since Burgoyne arrived ahead of the 2010 season.

The Hawks improved to a 7-5 record after a seven-goals-to-nil third quarter against the Crows set up a 12.16 (88) to 4.8 (32) thumping in front of 26,693 fans.

"We've still got a lot of work to do," Clarkson said.

"We know that we can compete and we've been pretty good at being able to restrict opposition sides to low scores.

"Our trouble over the last four or five weeks is being able to kick a big enough score to win."

James Frawley will be monitored after he was a late withdrawal with a migraine.