Hawks overwhelmed by Burgoyne occasion

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Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says veteran Shaun Burgoyne has plenty left to give the AFL club as he nears the end of his remarkable career.

Burgoyne became just the fifth player in AFL/VFL history to reach 400 games in the Hawks' 34-point defeat to Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

The 38-year-old spent most of the match at half-back before drifting forward late and narrowly missing a shot at goal that would have brought fans to their feet.

This year, Burgoyne has taken on a part-time advisory role to assist with the development and implementation of Hawthorn's Indigenous program.

But Clarkson believes the four-time AFL premiership player still has something left to give the Hawks on-field before hanging up his boots.

"We've got such a young group and that was part of the reason that we wanted him to continue to play throughout the course of this year," Clarkson said.

"We had five guys over 30 that retired or moved to other clubs at the end of last year and we felt that Shaun could play such an important role for us.

"We're also very mindful of the obligation that he feels to his people and the role model he is to the Indigenous.

"We felt that he could play a huge part for our footy club this year and beyond in terms of what he can do in that space too.

"We'll be hopeful that he continues to make a contribution for our senior side in the next few weeks and see where that takes him.

"But we don't look at it and say he's got to 400 so lets wind him up because I think he can still help some of our younger fellas in the last part of the year."

Burgoyne joins AFL games record holder Brent Harvey (432), Michael Tuck (426), Kevin Bartlett (403) and Dustin Fletcher (400) as the only men to reach 400 games.

Unfortunately for Burgoyne, his former club Port Adelaide spoiled the party by piling on eight goals to one in the first half at Marvel Stadium.

"It's hard to say, but it looked like we were overwhelmed with the occasion," Clarkson said.

"We made so many errors with the ball and some of it was to do with Port's pressure, of course, but some of it was to do with us being too frantic with the footy when we had a chance to get composure.

"If anything, strangely enough, it was like our lads were trying too hard."

Hawthorn are due to host Fremantle in Launceston in round 17 but are still waiting on the AFL to confirm the fixture.

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