Burgoyne joins Seven’s AFL commentary team

Recently retired 400-gamer Shaun Burgoyne has joined Channel Seven’s coverage this season and hopes to give viewers insight into what players are thinking.

It will be a second role in the football industry for Burgoyne, who has also returned to Port Adelaide as an indigenous liaison officer.

Burgoyne will cover most games in Adelaide for Seven and will be a boundary rider in Melbourne for the season opener between last year’s grand finalists the Demons and the Western Bulldogs.

Shaun Burgoyne will join the Seven commentary team this season.Credit:Getty Images

The genial 39-year-old said he was unlikely to seek controversy in his assessments.

“I hope to be more of a positive contributor among the team, that would be my angle and my goal. I am not one to try to create controversy in anything, but we will see how things go and how things evolve and what kind of style I adapt,” Burgoyne said.

He said he was privileged to join a commentary group he described as the who’s who of football.

“[I have] a bit of excitement, a bit of nerves, but I can’t wait until round one,” Burgoyne said.

Seven has a slightly changed line-up for their AFL coverage in 2022. AFLW star Daisy Pearce, who has a special comments role, is shifting to Friday nights. Wayne Carey, who previously did Friday nights, will shift to Saturdays.

Burgoyne said Port Adelaide, where he played part of his career before making the move to Hawthorn, must keep their focus on what is in front of them rather than what lies ahead if they go deep into finals.

Port Adelaide lost their preliminary finals in 2020 and 2021, and consecutive losses at the final hurdle is something Burgoyne has experienced himself. He played in back-to-back preliminary final losses with Port Adelaide in 2002 and 2003 before they broke through to win the flag in 2004, and he then played in a preliminary final and grand final losses in consecutive years at Hawthorn before being a key part of their famous three-peat from 2013-2015.

In his 407-game career he played in four flags, two grand final defeats and three preliminary final losses.

“I have lived and breathed exactly what the club and those players have gone through,” Burgoyne said.

“The true test will come … later in the year but all you can do is rock up to training, train hard, get your first game out of the way then get your second game out of the way. You can’t afford in this business to look too far ahead because when you do you quickly fall behind.”

Burgoyne said adding Jeremy Finlayson and Trent Dumont to the list and introducing more young talent, such as Josh Sinn, will strengthen the team that lost the past two preliminary finals at home.

“You have got to learn your lessons and understand what you did right and what you did wrong. Obviously, they fell short and [will have] analysed that.”

Burgoyne predicted that Hawthorn would finish in a similar position down the ladder under new coach Sam Mitchell as they have in the previous two seasons under Alastair Clarkson, with a rebuild underway.

“It looks like a tough year lies ahead and that is what they forecast as they are playing all the kids and, obviously, there are some senior players and experience going out, but that is part of their process going forward,” Burgoyne said.

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