SHAUN BURGOYNE’s return to Alberton presented the four-time AFL premiership player an opportunity to both reflect on the past and get excited about the future.
Burgoyne spent his first day in a new multifaceted off-field role at Port Adelaide helping run a football carnival for 200 year 8 and 9 Indigenous students.
And if the fun the students were having was not enough, recalling his time on the hallowed turf at Alberton gave the 39-year-old reason to smile.
“It’s good to finally be back here,” Burgoyne told portadelaidefc.com.au. “It’s been many many years and a lot of memories are coming back right now.
“Seeing all the kids on the oval is making it a bit more enjoyable.
“I came through when I was 15 with the Magpies in the Under 17s back then and then many many training sessions with both the Magpies and the Power.
“A lot of memories are coming back, a lot of pre-seasons here with Choco (Mark Williams) and the crew yelling at me in the early days but it just brings me a smile thinking about those memories.”
Burgoyne was toured around the precinct by club chief executive officer Matthew Richardson and was excited by some of the changes to Alberton since he left in 2009 and the work already underway to reinvigorate both the Port Club and the training facilities.
“Visually, there’s been one renovation so far, which is a bit different,” Burgoyne said.
“The offices have changed a bit but walking through the new (Port Club) facility, the renovated facility is going to be awesome.
“People being able to sit out on a deck (in the Robert B. Quinn M. M. stand) to watch the footy is going to be amazing.”
Burgoyne officially starts his new role next week.
He will be working across the Commercial, Football and Community departments and he is eager to get started.
“I really want to step away from the football oval so to speak after playing for 21 years and I wanted to learn the business side outside of football so the football admin is a good place to start,” he explained.
“A bit of list management, a bit of mentoring and being the Indigenous Liaison Officer and connecting with the players there, Government and corporate relations and connecting with the partners as well.
“I’m really excited about that and to learn under Matthew Richardson and (General Manager - Football) Chris Davies.”
Being on hand to witness the inaugural Power SAASTA Connect Carnival at Alberton was a good reintroduction into the work the club does in the community – something Burgoyne will have some involvement with.
“Football is a great vehicle to create engagement and bring the kids together,” Burgoyne said.
“They’re participating in school and if footy can help them finish their education I think that’s a good thing.
“I think Port Adelaide does a really good job with the community programs and there’s a few boys and girls out here really enjoying their footy.”