THE FIRST time Sam Mitchell and Shaun Burgoyne crossed paths was during the 2008 representative game at the MCG. They were on opposite teams as Victoria played an All-Stars squad.

Near each other when the final siren rang, they happily swapped jumpers.

They crossed paths a week later at Aurora Stadium in less friendly circumstances, when Burgoyne, then playing for Port Adelaide, ran through Mitchell and was later suspended for three weeks.

Yet just 15 months later, Mitchell could not say yes quickly enough when asked whether the Hawks should instigate a trade to bring Burgoyne to the club.

The former combatants became teammates in 2010 and on Sunday at the MCG, will each play their 250th game when Hawthorn meets Richmond.

In an interview for this week's AFL Record, Mitchell discussed why he was keen to be reunited with Burgoyne, this time on the same team.

"First I asked about his knee because he had missed some footy that year, but if it was fine then he was obviously a player we’d love to have," Mitchell said.

"He was a top-end player who wanted to come for the right reasons and that’s a question we always ask. I’m sure he gets paid well but it wasn’t all about the money for Shaun … I thought he would fit the culture.

"Sometimes they ask about a player and you know a few skeletons in the closet you can tell the coaching staff, but with Shaun it was, ‘If you can get him then let’s do it’."

For his part, Burgoyne was keen to be on the same side as Mitchell. "He’s had a decorated career and straight away you knew you would get a guy who fights for every possession.

"His standing in the game is only getting higher and higher. You had to tag him straight away. And he still does (get tagged), which is great because I can then run around free."

And the report? " I had my head over the ball and he really flushed me," Mitchell recalled. "I didn’t even get a free kick, he ran off me and kicked a goal and then got three weeks."

In their wide-ranging interview in the Record, the pair discuss their preparation for football, their enjoyment of the game, the influence coach Alastair Clarkson has had on their careers and what another Hawthorn premiership would mean.

Read the full interview in the round six edition of the AFL Record, available at all grounds. Extra content from the interview will also be published at Sunday.