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Shannon emerges as Eagles leader

Former Angaston Football Club junior, Shannon Hurn played his 150th AFL game for the West Coast Eagles on August 16.

Although they lost in a tight game, the star defender was named the Eagles best player and his milestone earned him life membership with the club.

“I’m very proud,” he said.  “Growing up, I always wanted to play football but you can never be sure how long you’ll last.

“You have to have a bit of luck on your side.”

Shannon thought back to his time as a youngster playing with Angaston.

“The people at the Angaston footy club were great,” he said while talking about major influences on his career.

“I was fortunate enough to play cricket with Northern Districts and also footy with Central Districts.

“It was great to meet quality players who knew what it took to be successful as a team.”

“There have been so many people who have impacted my career, players like Nathan Steinborner and the Gowans brothers from Centrals.

“My family and friends have shown great support.

“I am so grateful to my parents for driving me to Adelaide all the time and giving me an opportunity.”

Shannon is now a leader at the Eagles and does his best to set a good example for the younger players.

“My role is to help out the younger blokes around the club,” said Shannon.

“I try to set a good example for them at training and making sure they get good recovery time.

“It’s also important just to be there for them to have a chat to.”

Shannon talked about how he felt their 2014 campaign went.

“We started the season off ok, but we lost consistency in the mid part,” he said.  “It has been a bit disappointing, but we put in a lot of hard training and got back to basics.

“I have been really pleased with the improvement over the last month.

“On a personal level, I missed the end of last season due to an injury,”

“I had a really good pre-season, but ended up missing another four games in the middle of the season.

“I have been reasonably happy with my form lately, I just want to focus on consistency.”

Shannon explained how he wants to keep improving as a leader and a player.

“Personally, I want to be a great leader and set the expectations high and not let standards slip,” he said.

“We need to keep doing the basics well.

“My main focus is to keep getting better as player.

“I want to be more adaptable and be able to play up the ground a bit more.”

As far as the future goes, Shannon hopes to spend the rest of his AFL career with West Coast.

“I have made some good mates here,” he said.

“I really enjoy fishing and doing all of the outdoor, country things.  I guess that comes from growing up in the Barossa.”

Although Shannon hopes to play for a few more seasons to chase his dreams of winning a premiership, he and several other leaders from the club recently participated in a level two coaching course.

“The idea of the course was to give us an insight into what it would be like to coach after our playing careers,” he explained.

“I’m still not exactly sure what I would like to do after football.”

Now the season is nearly over, Shannon is looking forward to spending some time at home with his family.

“I love coming home and helping out on the farm,” he said.

“It is a good change of scenery.”

Although he does not know what career path he will follow after his AFL career, he does have some plans.

“I would love to come back and play a few senior games for Angaston,” he said.  “That’s something I never got to do.”