IN ITS 35-year history, West Coast has not been short of champions. It has produced 33 All-Australians, while 27 Eagles have notched 200 games for club, with eight of those going on to reach 250.

But despite the brilliance and longevity of players like Glen Jakovich, Dean Cox and Guy McKenna, it is not until now that the Eagles have been able to open the doors to their own 300 club.

Premiership captain Shannon Hurn reaches that historic mark in Saturday's clash against Collingwood in a day that carries significance both for the understated defender and the club that has long produced stars but not seen them through to 300 games.

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Hurn 300: What makes this all-time Eagles great 'basic'

West Coast players pay tribute to Shannon Hurn ahead of his record-breaking 300th game

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So what has enabled Hurn to reach the magical milestone when the burden of fortnightly travel has played a significant role in stopping so many others across the Eagles' three premiership-winning eras?

The defender's physical gifts, intelligence, discipline and consistency as a player and person are all factors.

He spoke this week about the important role strength and conditioning coach Warren Kofoed had played in both his longevity and ability to maximise the games he has played in each of his 16 seasons.

For Kofoed, the early key was Hurn's "mature body and a high-end overall strength", which allowed him to play 24 games in his second season for a team defending the 2006 premiership.

Eagle Shannon Hurn in action against the Bulldogs in round six, 2007. Picture: AFL Photos

It was the training habits he then developed, however, that have given him the durability to average 21 games a season from his fourth year onward, making this week's milestone possible. 

He sets up his week immediately from the end of the previous game and has "outstanding habits and dependable routines" that have helped him handle the addition demands of travel.

"He knows his body and doesn’t make compromises on his preparation," Kofoed told

"The travel component adds a different dimension to the weekly program. (But) irrespective of travel, I think you need to be especially mentally resilient to compete at the level he has in this competition for over 300 games.   

"He sets a terrific example (and) doesn’t complicate issues."

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Training flat out is no longer an option for Hurn, who has enjoyed the freedom West Coast players are given in-season to manage their programs.

"One of the things with the travel, we've always had a very good pre-season, so we tend to do a lot of work in there, and then during the year it's more about recovery," Hurn said this week.

"You need to still get the continuity of your training in there, but it's more a recovery-based thing … then it's up to the individual to take ownership of what they need to do."

Shannon Hurn and his Eagles teammates train ahead of his 300th game. Picture: Getty Images

Hurn has also had luck along the way, he said, escaping the serious injuries that have stopped others from reaching 300 games, including Jakovich, who underwent a knee reconstruction halfway through the 1996 season.

Coach Adam Simpson this week described his 2018 premiership captain as a "consistent man" who does the right thing at the right time, sustaining his performance. It's what coaches crave, he said.

"He will be remembered forever at this club," Simpson said, noting the defender's form was as good as ever. "He's a legacy player."

Captain between 2015 and 2019, Hurn has had more time since handing the reins to Luke Shuey to focus on his own preparation and pass on his knowledge to teammates in less formal settings.

Shannon Hurn and Luke Shuey lead out the Eagles in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

His leadership is still highly valued as he reaches 300 games, with teammate Josh Kennedy tipping him to go further if he wants to.

"He's a terrific footballer, a terrific bloke, loves his footy and is very intelligent in the nature of the game," Kennedy said.

"He's determined and he's pretty black and white. He'll let you know when you step out of line and I think that's what we all love about him.

"He's still going hard. He's going to play his 300th game and he'll probably play 350 the way he's going."