SHANNON Hurn expects a time when West Coast's younger brigade could start pushing him out of the side and says he is determined to make the most of his remaining career after recommitting to the Eagles.
AFL.com.au revealed on Tuesday that the 30-year-old captain had added another year onto his contract, taking him through until at least the end of 2019.
While Hurn remains at the top of his game, he is well aware of the club's declining number of veterans after last year's list overhaul.
The 223-game superboot is now the third-oldest Eagle behind Mark LeCras and Josh Kennedy, and has vowed to enjoy every moment after extending his contract by another season.
"When you start getting a little bit older and towards the end it's always a shorter thing (the contract) but the body feels pretty good, the club's happy too, so it's exciting," Hurn said.
"I still like to think I can do what I can do in the backline, and that is to play a variety of roles.
"We have got some really good young kids coming through that can do what I am doing, Liam Duggan, Elliot Yeo, Jackson Nelson, Tom Cole.
"There will probably be a time when they push the old fellas out.
"I still remember Drew Banfield and Rowan Jones and Josh Wooden telling me that footy goes very quickly. They were thirty when I was first in. It does go really quick.
"There are two ways you can go (when you get older). You can worry about opportunities and stress about it or understand that footy is coming to an end and really enjoy it and make the most of it.
"I really hope that I go down that path, because footy can end at any time and especially the older you get the more you realise that."
Hurn was recently reappointed captain for a fourth season and the way he approaches the job will change without Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell in the leadership group.
"To be able to grow into that (role) and I think you learn, especially the last two years, you become more comfortable with it," Hurn said.
"I think certainly the older you get the more you understand what's needed and what's not and what to pass onto the players.
"(You've got to) make sure that you be yourself."
While many pundits are predicting an Eagles drop-off from last year, Hurn was confident West Coast's senior core and a hungry young group would keep driving the squad back to finals contention.
"I think the players we've got through the spine – and the senior players – if we perform well and play well as a team we're always going to go OK," Hurn said.
"The young kids coming through want to get better and understand the importance of how hard you need to train to become a better player."