SHAUN Burgoyne says Hawthorn's veterans are drawing inspiration from 400-gamers Brent Harvey and Dustin Fletcher amid ongoing speculation about their longevity in the game.
Burgoyne is set to join the 300-club this Friday night against Adelaide at the MCG, becoming just the fifth indigenous player to reach the milestone.
The four-time premiership star is still one of Hawthorn's most important players and has started 2016 in fine form, averaging 20 touches.
Hawthorn's other over-30s - Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge and Josh Gibson - also aren't showing any signs of slowing down with history spurring them on, and Burgoyne said their birth certificates mean nothing.
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"'Mitch' is doing a pretty good job for us, in career-best form, and the other guys who are over 30 – 'Hodgey' and 'Gibbo' – are playing pretty good footy as well," Burgoyne said.
"It's not really about how old you are, it's just how you handle the workload and if you can perform your role on gameday.
"If you can pull your weight and you can handle everything that's coming, well who knows how long players can go for.
"Brent Harvey and Dustin Fletcher have set a great example for players across the League with what you can do later on in your 30s."
Burgoyne will play his 147th game for the Hawks on Friday night, and will join indigenous champions Adam Goodes, Andrew McLeod, Michael O'Loughlin and ex-Port Adelaide premiership teammate Gavin Wanganeen as a 300-club member.
It's a far cry from the day he arrived at Hawthorn on crutches in 2009 battling a knee injury, and the 33-year-old praised the Hawks' fitness staff for keeping his body fresh enough to reach the milestone.
"I grew up watching Gavin and Andrew and was lucky enough to play against all those guys and with Gavin," Burgoyne said.
"I never thought I'd have my name sitting alongside those guys because they're champions of the game and players I look up to.
"I'm feeling pretty excited, I can't lie, with this week approaching. There's been a lot of requests from family and friends to come to the game.
"I never thought I'd get to this point in my career to play 300 games."
Burgoyne signed a one-year contract extension last year and is open to playing on beyond 2016, with the 33-year-old already having informal chats with coach Alastair Clarkson and football manager Chris Fagan.
"We have pretty good discussions as we walk past each other in the corridor here and there. We'll sit down at some stage and talk," he said.
"That conversation will happen at some stage, whether that's a good one or a bad one we'll wait and see, but it all depends on individual form and how the team's going."
For now, the star is focused on helping the Hawks rediscover their best after two last-gasp wins against the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda.
"We're not playing our best footy but we're winning, which is a positive knowing that we can win when we're not playing the way we want to play," he said.
"I'd say it's a reflection of the other teams getting better – St Kilda played outstanding footy on the weekend and the week before that the Western Bulldogs were pretty good as well.
"Teams are probably putting a bit more research into us and we're obviously the reigning premiers, so teams are going to get themselves up every week to bring their best at us.
"We need to be firing across all our lines or teams will expose us."
The Hawks are set to regain Gibson from hamstring tightness against the Crows, while Bradley Hill was in full contact training on Tuesday after hurting his wrist a month ago.
Shaun Burgoyne enjoys the 2015 premiership celebrations. Picture: AFL Media