HAWTHORN veteran Shaun Burgoyne is confident his body could withstand another AFL season next year but remains uncertain about his playing future.
The AFL's oldest player, Burgoyne expects a decision to be made "in the next few weeks" about whether he will extend his glittering career into a 19th season.
The revered four-time premiership utility, who will turn 37 in October, said he would also have to weigh up factors such as the direction of the team under coach Alastair Clarkson, and his own role within it.
Shaun Burgoyne celebrates a goal on Saturday. Picture: AFL Photos
The 367-gamer – ninth on the all-time list – has also managed a long-term knee issue that he has carried since his days at Port Adelaide a decade ago.
"I've been on one-year deals for the past six seasons, so I've always had an eye on retirement," Burgoyne told Channel Seven on Sunday.
"I've never known when my knee's going to blow out, so I've always been doing things outside of footy.
"At some stage my career will end. We've been talking to the club probably this time every year for the past six years, so I'll find out in the next few weeks where things are headed."
HAWKS CAN RISE IN 2020 Clarko's bold prediction after Eagles loss
Asked whether he believed his body could handle the rigours of another season, Burgoyne answered in the affirmative.
"Yeah I do, I feel like I can keep playing," he said.
"But it's one thing that if you feel like you can keep playing, then can you have a role in the team, where the team's going, and all those things," he said.
"We'll have to make a decision at some stage whether we go on or we don't, and that'll be soon."
A hamstring injury in the round two loss to the Western Bulldogs sidelined Burgoyne for four weeks, but he has played the past eight games in a row.
He continues to defy his age to be a solid contributor, averaging 16 possessions this season. In the narrow loss to reigning premier West Coast on a wet MCG on Saturday he had 16 touches and kicked a long-range goal.
The 5-9 Hawks appear highly unlikely to play finals this season but Clarkson is bullish about bouncing back into premiership contention next season, an outlook that would seemingly favour Burgoyne playing on.
The brilliant performer affectionately known as 'Silk' has displayed remarkable durability, particularly given his ongoing knee issue. At the end of 2009, after eight seasons with Port Adelaide, he signed a three-year deal that was regarded as risky for Hawthorn, which handed over two first-round draft picks for him.
Burgoyne has played the second-most finals, behind only fellow Hawthorn great Michael Tuck (39), and the most finals without a miss (35), while also being third on the all-time list for wins (245), trailing only Tuck (302) and Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett (260).