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Match stirs sweet memories for Burgoyne

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The son of an indigenous champion from South Australia’s west coast, Shaun Burgoyne is a polished professional and a great choice to follow on from the likes of Adam Goodes and Andrew McLeod as captain of the Indigenous All Stars for tonight’s night’s clash with the “other” West Coast in Perth.

Burgoyne has already played in three of the biennial Indigenous All Stars games between 2005 and 2009, along with being a member of the dream team, coached by his Port Adelaide premiership mentor Mark Williams, that played the Big V in the centenary match of 2008.

“My three previous All Stars games were all in Darwin against Essendon, Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs,” Burgoyne told InDaily.

“I believe my current record in two wins and one loss, and I’m keen to improve on that.

“Playing in this game is pretty exciting – having the opportunity to represent my people – and my family is special.

“It brings back memories of my junior days at Mallee Park (in Port Lincoln), when I was child playing for that club among my people.”

READ MORE: Football’s first Aboriginal All-Stars

The All Stars is coached this year by former player Andy Lovell, who is a member of the Gold Coast staff.

The Burgoyne name has a rich heritage in football on the western side of the Spencer Gulf.

Born in Koonibba, Shaun’s father Peter senior was a country champion.

He collected two Mail Medals (competition best and fairest awards) with Tasmans in 1974 and 1976 in the Port Lincoln Football League and regularly travelled to play with St Mary’s in the Northern Territory Football League during the northern winter. He played seven seasons in the Territory, playing 115 games for the ‘Green Machine’ alongside many great ‘Top End’ names including the late Maurice Rioli.

In the publication by John Gascoyne called “A Touch of Magic – A history of aboriginal footballers on the Eyre Peninsula” he called Peter (Senior), “A Tasman all time great, born thirty years too early.”

“Our father (Peter senior) played a season with the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL in the 1970s, but they were different times,” Shaun mused.

“For me it was exciting to play alongside my brother Peter at Alberton as well.”

The current generation of the Burgoyne clan have their own unique AFL record.

Shaun and retired older brother Peter (an Indigenous “Team of the Century” member) have played more than 500 AFL games between them.

In 2014 they took the Aboriginal record for the most AFL games played by siblings from the Matera trio of Peter (253 games), Phillip (179) and Wally (56).

Shaun currently is sitting on 269 senior games and, with a prosperous 2015 season for Hawthorn, will have the carrot of the magical 300-game milestone to convince him to play a 15th season the following year.

The Burgoyne brothers, along with fellow Aboriginal players with a west coast heritage, Byron Pickett and Gavin Wanganeen, also share the joy of playing in Port Adelaide’s inaugural AFL flag back in 2004.

Shaun, a three-time premiership winning champion, nicknamed “Silk” because of his exquisite balance and skills, is on AFL’s indigenous advisory board and is involved in a raft of dedicated indigenous programs.

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