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Burgoyne takes on mentor role

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Shaun Burgoyne is enjoying taking on a mentoring role with the competition's indigenous players at this week's AFL/AFLPA Indigenous All Stars Summit in Adelaide.

Seventy-one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island players from across the competition are taking part in the four-day event, concluding on Wednesday.

Focus then switches to Friday night's AFLX tournament at Marvel Stadium, when Burgoyne and skipper Eddie Betts lead the Deadly side that will feature Fremantle speedster Bradley Hill, Essendon livewire Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly.

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The summit, held every second year, offers a unique opportunity for indigenous footballers to connect through player-led cultural development sessions, football training and traditional activities with local communities.

"The number of indigenous players is growing each year, which is a good thing," Burgoyne said on Monday.

"There are greater pathways for indigenous players to come through and become AFL players.

“This is a chance to come together, bond, share experiences and strengthen our culture, which is quite hard for a lot of the boys moving into cities.

"Just doing some of the cultural things we did growing up – camping, fishing and sharing stories."

Burgoyne, 36, is thrilled to be part of the AFLX tournament and to play alongside and against some of the premier players in the AFL.

Deadly will take on Patrick Dangerfield's Bolts, Nat Fyfe's Flyers and Jack Riewoldt's Rampage.

"To take the best players in each team, you don't really get that opportunity apart from International Rules, so it's exciting," Burgoyne said.

"I think fans will get a look at what potential combinations are going to look like, their favourite players playing with each other.

"I'm excited, I know a lot of the boys here are, and hopefully we can get a big crowd to make it even better."

 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs