Eight is great: Hawthorn has re-signed (from left) Shaun Burgoyne, Taylor Duryea, Max Bailey, Mitch Hallahan, Angus Litherland, Brent Guerra, Will Langford and Kyle Cheney. Photo: SDP Media
HAWTHORN has re-signed silky half-back Shaun Burgoyne to a new one-year contract, as the club turns its attention to retaining its elite core.
Burgoyne, 30, will remain a Hawk for season 2013, with trigger clauses for another year, as he tries to help deliver the club the premiership it narrowly missed last season and also went close to tasting a year earlier.
''I've re-signed for another year, so hopefully we've got a really bright future,'' Burgoyne said on Thursday. ''I'm looking forward to starting pre-season and really hitting the ground running for next year.''
Burgoyne is a major component of the Hawks' plans, but their three biggest names - Lance Franklin, Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell - are off contract next season and will be free agents.
The Hawks hope to secure Franklin to a long-term contract. It's understood preliminary discussions have begun with his manager Liam Pickering.
If Franklin was to explore free agency, he could command more than $1 million a season.
Hawks chief executive Stuart Fox has said he wants Franklin to be re-signed by the start of next season, avoiding a repeat of what Collingwood endured with Travis Cloke.
Hodge and Mitchell had their contracts extended by a year during the recent season. Hodge, 28, maintains he can play for at least another four years. Burgoyne found his groove as the 2012 season progressed, averaging 17 disposals (his lowest since 2004 when with Port Adelaide) but the seventh-highest for the Hawks.
Recruited from the Power after the 2009 season, in part to help improve the Hawks' ball use, he had a disposal efficiency of 80 per cent last season - the second highest at the club behind fellow flanker Grant Birchall (85 per cent). The team averaged 75 per cent.
''It was good to play a role down back and do that week-in, week-out. As a team, we came a long way this year after a rocky start,'' the 221-game veteran said.
''To make a grand final is a very good achievement but the next step obviously is to win one.''
Hawks football manager Mark Evans said Burgoyne was a model citizen on and off the field.
''He has been a really consistent player for us across the three years,'' he said. ''He has been a model of consistency on the training track and playing. He is a really classy player. When he came from Port Adelaide, we always said we weren't just trying to get a player for three years, we were actually hoping it could extend into four, five, even six years.''
The Hawks have this week re-signed youngsters Taylor Duryea, Mitch Hallahan, Angus Litherland and Will Langford, while Kyle Cheney, Max Bailey and Brent Guerra have also recommitted. They have also signed former Geelong midfielder Jonathan Simpkin, who played four matches this season.