After officially announcing his retirement this week, The Inner Sanctum‘s James Strebinos has taken the chance to reflect on the amazing career of Shaun Burgoyne.
Burgoyne was an excitement machine at Port Adelaide where he’d often kick bags of four or five consistently. His years in 2006-07 with the Power – where Burgoyne kicked 59 goals from 47 matches – genuinely put him alongside the very best in the competition.
When traded to the Hawks from Port Adelaide at the end of 2009, coach Alastair Clarkson admitted he didn’t expect Burgoyne to be the lively medium forward or the do-it-himself midfielder he was at Port Adelaide.
He was recruited to be the influencer, and to be required to play at his best in the game’s most crucial moments.
In playing that role, it extended his career well past where everyone thought it would eventually end.
With 406 games under his belt and one final game to go heading into the weekends clash against Richmond, let’s take a look at Silk’s best game by round.
Here is a full fixture of pure Silk.
Round 1 2020 vs Brisbane
Entering his 19th season in the AFL, you could be excused for predicting Shaun Burgoyne to drop off a bit.
Although if there’s one thing I know about Shaun Burgoyne, it’s write him off at your own peril.
It was definitely a more unfamiliar scene for Burgoyne – who like every other player – was playing in front of no crowds for the first time in his career.
The occasion was no problem for Silk who took three marks inside 50 and finished with three insane goals and two Brownlow votes.
Round 2 2011 vs Melbourne
After a round 1 loss to the Crows the week prior, the Hawks were searching for their first win of 2011 when they faced Melbourne on a Sunday afternoon at the MCG.
In just his second season in the brown and gold, Shaun Burgoyne came straight out of the blocks.
He kicked a behind in the opening two minutes of the game as the Hawks had trouble finding the goals in the opening term.
By the end of the quarter, he had the Hawks with their second as he launched a running goal from just outside 50.
The Hawks finishing with an inaccurate 2.8.20 for the quarter leading by just one-point over the Dees at the first change before being down by as much as 27 late into the second quarter.
The Hawks would dominate from there and put the foot down after half-time, leading by 33 points by three-quarter time.
Burgoyne wouldn’t have his second until inside the first 20 seconds of the last quarter before nailing a further two goals to finish with four as the Hawks ran home with a 45-point win.
Round 3 2003 vs Hawthorn
One way of getting rid of second-year blues is to make an impact early in the season, and that’s exactly what Burgoyne did.
He kicked three of the first four goals and by half-time already had five goals to his name.
Like all young players, fading out of games is normal but this was the game that Shaun Burgoyne had officially announced himself to the AFL world.
Port Adelaide ran out the game to win by 57-points and notching up its first win for the year.
Round 4 2003 vs Carlton
It was a good follow up game for Shaun Burgoyne and there were signs of a more rounded four-quarter game when Port Adelaide took on Carlton at Princess Park on a Sunday Afternoon.
Again, it was a fast start as Burgoyne kicked his sides first two goals of the game.
He and brother Peter kicked three between them as Port Adelaide stormed home with a 30-point win and a spot in the top eight.
Round 5 2016 vs Adelaide – Silk’s 300th
The Friday night stage was set as the Hawks were chasing four consecutive wins in a highly anticipated match against the soaring Adelaide Crows.
The game also brought up game number 300 for the man we all know as Silk and didn’t his teammates lift on the occasion.
Whilst Burgoyne himself only picked up the 17 touches and a behind, his teammates ensured they’d fight out an arm wrestle to get the four points for their mate.
It was the Poppy and Cyril show as the pair kicked nine goals between them including the winner by Puopolo to bring up his fifth.
Burgoyne would be lifted off with a smile as the Hawks rose to fifth on the ladder.
Round 6 2003 vs Richmond
Coming into a Saturday night clash with Richmond, Port Adelaide was looking for four straight wins and a spot in the top four.
The task was to take on a Richmond side that surprisingly had found themselves in second place after four consecutive wins.
After a strong first quarter which saw the Power take a 22-point lead into the first break, they went goalless in the second.
With Richmond slowly crawling back into the contest, Shaun Burgoyne put the prospect of a Tigers comeback to death.
The smooth moving forward kicked three third-quarter goals, working in partnership with ruckman Brendon Lade where the pair had formed an amazing sense of synergy.
He would add a fourth in the final term as Port cruised to an impressive 27-point victory.
Round 7 2014 vs St Kilda
After coming off a nice win in game number 250, Burgoyne helped the Hawks dismantle the Saints on a waterlogged MCG.
It would take just 34 seconds for Shaun Burgoyne to kick the first goal of the afternoon and the rest of the team would follow as the Hawks set up a six-goal opening term.
The Hawks never slowed down kicking 15 consecutive goals after half-time including Burgoyne’s second as the Hawks marched on to a 145-point win.
Along with his two majors, Burgoyne would also record 33 disposals (26 kicks) and 11 clearances.
Round 8 2008 vs Hawthorn
It was always going to be a tough assignment for Port Adelaide to go down to Launceston and defeat Buddy Franklin and the undefeated Hawks.
However, no challenge was too big for Shaun Burgoyne who loved playing against the Hawks.
On the brink of the top eight, a win would have seen Port sneak in the top half of the ladder, and it almost did.
When Shaun Burgoyne casually ran through the centre of York Park and goaled with a long penetrating kick from inside the centre square, Port had gone to a 30-point lead late in the first quarter.
It was the best Port Adelaide had looked all year and Shaun Burgoyne was having a field day.
He finished the day with a team high 31 disposals whilst leading the game in tackles (nine) and clearances (eight).
However, it was the Hawks who stormed home and stole one at the brink of defeat to run out 15-point winners thanks to a six-goal performance from Buddy.
Round 9 2006 vs Essendon
Burgoyne took his game to another level in 2006 and this game was a great example of Silk’s fine form.
Kicking the second goal of the game, the Power got a run on and eventually thrashing the Bombers by 60 points at the Telstra Dome.
Silk amassed 28 disposals, six clearances and a solitary Brownlow vote in a dominant display as the Power were knocking on the door of finals.
Round 10 2017 vs Sydney
Hawthorn entered its Sir Douglas Nicholls round clash against Sydney in an attempt to rejuvenate its season.
The 17th placed Hawks had the chance to jump the 12th placed Swans who were also experiencing an early season hangover after being runners up in the 2016 Grand Final.
To honour the 50-year anniversary of a landmark 1967 referendum, both Shaun Burgoyne and Lance Franklin swapped their usual playing numbers of 9 and 23 respectively for number 67.
With the upgrade of jumper number came an upgrade of performance.
Buddy would cause his old side some havoc across the night – playing on an inexperienced Kaiden Brand – would go on to kick five majors and earn two Brownlow votes.
The three votes would go to Silk who continues to give Swans fans nightmares.
Burgoyne showed his class by kicking a running goal from the boundary late in the second to give the Hawks a 21-point lead going into the main break.
Collecting 26 disposals for the night, Burgoyne would kick a late clutch goal from outside 50 in the last quarter to get the Hawks back within a point with only minutes remaining.
Trying his guts out in the centre of the ground, he would then be involved in the scoring chain which saw Jarryd Roughead kick the winner and see the Hawks home by six-points.
Round 11 2018 vs Port Adelaide
It’s almost as if Burgoyne always finds a second gear when it’s Sir Douglas Nicholls Round.
Hawthorn had improved in season 2018 but came into this game in 10th place with a 5-5 record after losing its last three games.
Taking on a ninth placed Port side, it was danger signs early.
A five goal to one goal quarter took Port out to a 27-point lead at quarter time before the Hawks made it all square at half-time.
A third quarter drop-punt goal from the boundary from Shaun Burgoyne kicked started a Hawks resurgence in the second half and they went on to win a nail-biter by just three points.
Burgoyne finished with 26 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances and a goal.
Round 12 2006 vs West Coast
Port Adelaide came to play when it took on flag favourites the West Coast Eagles in round 12.
Shaun Burgoyne was the dominant player on the ground, accumulating 34 disposals (20 contested) and 12 clearances against unarguably the best midfield in the comp.
Adding to the complete performance, Burgoyne nailed two last quarter goals including one where he read the tap off Brendon Lade, fended off three West Coast opponents and slammed one home.
Minutes later he would take on two West Coast defenders deep in the forward pocket, sell some candy to both and banana one home for the sealer.
Burgoyne made it easy for the umpires to award him the three Brownlow votes in a remarkable 37-point win.
Round 13 Port 2002 vs Western Bulldogs
Arguably Shaun Burgoyne’s most freakish performance in the Port Adelaide guernsey was against the Bulldogs in 2002.
In only game number six, Burgoyne showed Port fans everything he was capable of.
After kicking his first half-way through the second term, Silk had his second by running onto a bouncing ball and turning opponent Ryan Hargrave inside out before taking a bounce and converting truly from fifteen meters out.
With a glimpse of his elite composure, Burgoyne slotted goal number four by receiving a handball from Poulter, side stepping two opponents and guiding one through from 20 meters out.
Burgoyne would finish with five goals, six marks inside 50 and all three Brownlow votes in a 46-point triumph.
Round 14 2007 vs Western Bulldogs
Heritage Round in 2007 brought us a classic at the Telstra Dome.
Port Adelaide suited up in its famous prison bar guernsey and the Bulldogs donned a traditional Footscray strip as 22,000 spectators were kept dry under the roof of the Telstra Dome on a wet Saturday afternoon.
The game had a bit of writing on it as the Bulldogs needed a win to jump into the eight whereas a Port loss could see the Power slide to ninth.
For Shaun Burgoyne, he was at his influential best with 26 disposals, five clearances and two goals.
Unfortunately for Silk and the Power, the Bulldogs triumphed by 20 points thanks to some brilliance from Jason Akermanis in the final quarter.
Round 15 2017 vs Collingwood
The Hawks were out to get revenge against the Pies who only six weeks earlier came back from 40 points down late in the second quarter to beat Hawthorn by 18 points.
The Hawks would get out to a fast start again by kicking six goals in the opening term to lead by 18 points at quarter-time.
Burgoyne would get a goal in the second quarter by roving a tap on from Jack Gunston and chipping a goal over Steele Sidebottom’s head.
It would be a tug-a-war for the majority of the game until the Hawks kicked six goals to two in the last quarter to cruise to a 24-point win.
Burgoyne finished the game with 23 disposals, six clearances and a goal.
Round 16 2021 vs Port Adelaide – 400th game
The stage was set as Shaun Burgoyne was preparing to take on his former side in his 400th game just two months ago.
A spectacular light show followed by a welcome to country further highlighted Shaun’s proud indigenous heritage as the crowd was building to celebrate arguably the game’s most prolific indigenous players.
It was the first time the 400-game milestone was reached by an Indigenous player and didn’t he get quite the ovation.
Surrounded by a guard of honour led by some of Silk’s best friends and former teammates, Burgoyne ran through the banner with his four children and received a gift from Power skipper Tom Jonas.
It was not to be his night with the Hawks going down by 34-points in a dour contest, but it will certainly be one of his favourite nights of his football career.
Round 17 2016 vs Sydney
This man clearly loves playing the Swans. With top spot up for grabs the Hawks defeated Sydney in the dying stages thanks to a long-range bomb from Cyril Rioli.
However, let’s not let that take the attention away from a complete game from Burgoyne.
Playing in game number 311, the veteran was on fire nailing two last quarter goals and playing his famous ‘break glass in case of emergency’ role as the Hawks came storming home.
He finished the game with two goals, 26 disposals, 11 tackles and 10 clearances and 3 Brownlow votes. Elite.
Round 18 2009 vs Hawks
This could’ve almost been dubbed as Silk’s x-factor audition as he lined up to play his future club in the back end of the 2009 season.
Having only just come back from a knee injury the week prior, Burgoyne was ready to build up some form and get Port Adelaide back on the winners list.
The Hawks came out firing, but inaccurate kicking saw Port take full advantage and make them pay.
Burgoyne was back to his best having 26 touches and a goal along with a game high six tackles.
Round 19 2009 vs Fremantle
The very next round, Burgoyne went to the next gear in search for some consistent form and continuity.
The flood gates opened early in the game as Port leaked seven goals in the opening term to hand Fremantle a healthy 30-point lead at quarter time.
The lead would only get bigger from there and Port would return to Adelaide clinging on to eighth spot and in danger of giving up a finals spot.
Although his team couldn’t get the job done, Burgoyne was his team’s best with a team high 29 disposals, two goals and six tackles.
Round 20 2006 vs Collingwood
When the VFL/AFL introduced Friday night games in 1985, it was so they could see the then two-year-old Shaun Burgoyne dominate under the Friday night lights 20 years later.
On the biggest stage, against arguably Australia’s biggest club, Burgoyne stole the show.
With 28 disposals and all three Brownlow votes in a losing side, Silk was everywhere.
He got Port surging with its first goal of the game after roving an exceptional ruck tap from Brendon Lade and drilling a goal around the body from 35-metres out.
He’d have his second in the next quarter after kicking a set shot from fifty.
Unfortunately, Port Adelaide was unable to capitalise on its opportunities late in the game and went goalless in the final term to fall to the Pies by two points.
Round 21 2010 vs Fremantle
You wouldn’t be crazy to think that Silk brought his own footy when he packed his bags ahead of the Hawks’ Round 21 clash with Fremantle in Launceston.
The Hawks were looking for a win to secure a finals spot after starting the season 1-6, while the Dockers chose to rest several experienced players despite needing the win to guarantee a home final.
The Dockers may as well have surrendered from the first bounce, kicking one goal in the first three quarters and eventually going down by 116-points.
Burgoyne inflicted his own pain on the Dockers by kicking four goals and accumulating a career high 37 disposals in a huge win in Tassie.
Round 22 2012 vs Sydney
Outside of perhaps the 2013 Preliminary Final, it would be very hard to argue that Silk has had a more influential game in his career.
As the sun was setting over a half-renovated SCG, the Hawks found themselves trailing the Swans by as much as 36 points halfway through the second term.
Enter Shaun Burgoyne (and perhaps Buddy too).
The Hawks would storm back late in the second with Lance Franklin and Shaun Burgoyne combining for five goals in the quarter to get within a goal of the Swans at half-time.
With 10 lead changes after halftime, it was up to Shaun Burgoyne to make it 11 with just over a minute to go into the final quarter.
A set shot from 40 meters out on a 45-degree angle was the task and it was never in doubt, the Hawks had hit the front.
A Brad Sewell goal from the next centre clearance iced the cake for the Hawks but Shaun Burgoyne picked up the three Brownlow votes.
Silk finished with 26 disposals and three goals in what was one of his best games of his career.
Round 23 2021 – Silks last hurrah vs Richmond
When the Hawks take on Richmond at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, they’ll be farewelling two legends of the club for the second straight year.
Last year, a small crowd in Adelaide helped farewell two stars from Hawthorn’s three-peat dynasty in Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo.
This year a eerily quiet MCG will say goodbye to two of the game’s greatest contributors in four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson and four-time premiership player Shaun Burgoyne.
Although a lot of media attention will be brought towards one of the greatest coaches the game has seen, it cannot be understated what Shaun Burgoyne has achieved in his career.
Often flying under the radar, we don’t expect Silk to take the limelight but I’m sure his teammates would want nothing more than one last goal and win for the man they know as Silk.
2016 Qualifying Final vs Geelong
It was a game that most Hawthorn fans would rather forget. However, it was almost another Hawks vs Geelong classic where Burgoyne helped the Hawks get home.
Burgoyne was at his finals best picking up 21 disposals, five clearances and two goals.
His first goal came in the second quarter as the Hawks started to click into gear. Picking off a Josh Caddy handball and slamming one home from 45-metres out.
His next came in the last quarter from almost the exact same position where he received a release handball from Ben McEvoy and slotted on home from just inside 50 to put the Hawks in front early in the last quarter.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the Hawks. A shot to win the game from Isaac Smith after the final siren went wayward and the Cats were home.
2011 Semi-final vs Sydney
Hawthorn was looking to avoid a ‘straight-sets’ finals exit when it took on the Sydney Swans in a semi-final on a mild Friday night in front of 55,000 at the MCG.
The Hawks would get off to a fast start with quick goals to Max Bailey and Michael Osborne to put the Swans on the ropes.
Burgoyne would kick his first by intercepting a handball from Jude Bolton and squeezing one home from the 50-metre arc, putting the Hawks up by 33-points halfway through the second.
He would finish the game with 23 disposals and a goal in an influential final’s performance.
The Hawks would survive a third quarter scare and march home to win by 36 points.
2013 Preliminary Final vs Geelong
In 2013, Hawthorn was on its way back from finals heartbreak.
It started two years earlier in 2011, when a last-minute Luke Ball goal denied the Hawks from making the grand final after a gallant performance against a dominant Collingwood side.
A year later, the Hawks looked set to win a second Grand Final in four years until some Nick Malceski magic saw the Swans upset the Hawks in the 2012 Grand Final.
The reputation of being finals chokers was starting to build for the Hawks, and when a Josh Caddy goal put the Cats up by 19-points at the seven-minute mark of the final quarter, the choking tag had just about been stuck.
This is where Shaun Burgoyne comes in.
Having already kicked two goals for the game, Clarko knew he needed to throw someone down forward to make an impact.
Burgoyne was often used as a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ type player and this proved to be no different.
At the 14-minute mark of the final term, Shaun Burgoyne lunged to pressure Jimmy Bartel and Bradley Hill swooped to kick a brilliant snap goal.
Moments later Burgoyne won a one-on-one contest against Andrew Mackie, fed a handball to Jack Gunston who slotted one home to get the Hawks within a kick.
He capped his last quarter performance off with kicking the game-winner where he broke out into a famous ‘aeroplane’ celebration and altered the history of the football club forever.
He finished with 24 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, three goals and three crunch-time clearances as the Hawks broke the Kennett curse to beat the Cats by five points in a thriller.
2014 Grand Final vs Sydney
It was a performance that may have been overshadowed by many Hawks who were on their game in the 2014 Grand Final but don’t let that distract you from a wonderful performance by Shaun Burgoyne.
Silk started the game extremely well to peel off 10 first-quarter disposals to set the Hawks on their way.
The more impressive stat was that the 14 blokes who spent time against him could muster just nine disposals combined.
Finishing with 24 touches, two goals (including the party starter) and a score assist were the noticeable signs that Shaun Burgoyne is a finals genius.
Burgoyne would finish that day with a third premiership medallion as the Hawks smashed the Swans by 63 points.
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