Shannon Hurn keen to keep Eagles captaincy

Dec 4, 2017 - 5:57 AM West Coast veteran Shannon Hurn believes he has plenty more to offer as skipper, and he wants to retain the role while the club enters a new AFL era.

Hurn has skippered the Eagles for the past three seasons, but Luke Shuey shapes as his likely successor - and the switch could happen as early as this summer.

A decision is set to be made in either January or February, with the club's board, coaching staff, and player group to all have input into the decision.

West Coast possessed the oldest squad in the AFL last season, but that will be vastly different in 2018 following a list overhaul that included the retirements of Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Sam Butler, and Drew Petrie.

In total, 12 players either retired or were delisted at the end of last season, meaning plenty of spots will be up for grabs in 2018.

Off the field, West Coast's new training base at Lathlain Park is starting to take shape, while the club will play all of its home games at the new 60,000-seat Perth Stadium next season.

Hurn is excited by those changes, but there's one thing the 30-year-old wants to keep the same - him as skipper.

"I'd be really happy to keep doing it," Hurn said.

"During your first year (as skipper) it's the unknown. So you probably try to do things you don't need to do, and impress things that probably aren't needed.

"And you probably go away from being yourself and your own behaviours.

"I think in the past 18 months, I've become really comfortable with it. I understand more and more what footy's about and how you have to pass it onto your players."

The bulk of West Coast's squad returned to pre-season training on Monday to complete a 2km time trial and a skills session.

But ruckman Nic Naitanui and forward Josh Kennedy were two notable absentees.

Hurn said the duo were fine, and were merely on their own modified training programs in the lead-up to Christmas.

Naitanui hasn't played since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August, 2016.

West Coast are confident the 27-year-old will be fit to play in the club's pre-season matches before lining up for his AFL return in round one.

Despite losing so much experience in the form of Mitchell, Priddis, Petrie, Butler, Sharrod Wellingham, and Josh Hill, West Coast are confident they can stay in flag contention next season.

Source: AAP

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