Hawks keen to fire in Burgoyne milestone

·2-min read

Coach Alastair Clarkson says there's a lot at stake for Hawthorn in the second half of the year, including making an impact in Shaun Burgoyne's 400th AFL game this weekend.

The 17th-placed Hawks are enjoying a lift in form, having won two of their past three games, but face a stern test against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

"Our first half of the year was that poor that it's probably going to mean that we're disqualified from the opportunity to play finals this year," Clarkson said.

"But what we do in the second half of the year sets us up enormously for getting ourselves back up the ladder next year and beyond.

"So there's a lot at stake for us. It seems a silly thing to say given that we can't make finals this year but there's a lot we can get out of this year.

"... (Port Adelaide are) a top-four side who've got great aspirations to try and win a flag and we want to test ourselves to see whether our system stacks up against one of the better sides in the competition."

Clarkson said the Hawks were keen to focus on beating the Power rather than necessarily winning the game for Burgoyne.

He said the 38-year-old didn't want Saturday night's game at the MCG - where he becomes just the fifth player to the 400-game milestone - to "be about him".

Burgoyne joined the Hawks in the 2010 trade period from Port, when he was carrying a potentially career-threatening knee injury.

Clarkson lauded Burgoyne's shift from midfield star to versatile role player, with the silky-skilled player adding three premierships between 2013-2015 to his 2004 flag at the Power.

"With the greatest respect to Shaun who has been a champion of our club as well and a premiership player - the time for congratulations and acknowledging what Shaun has done is once the game is done and won by us," Power coach Ken Hinkley said.

"We want to be a bit of a party pooper for Shaun and the Hawks in this game because we need to be.

"Shaun is an absolute champ of the game - and just a fantastic person.

"We just wish him all the best in the game and all the rest of the year. But we don't want him to win (on Saturday night)."

The Power recalled Riley Bonner and named last week's medical substitute Sam Mayes in their regular 22.

Burgoyne was Hawthorn's medical substitute last week and is joined by Conor Nash and Damon Greaves in the Hawks' 22.

Chad Wingard (hamstring), Denver Grainger-Barras (concussion) and Will Day (ankle) have all been sidelined.

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