West Coast AFL coach Adam Simpson says his decision to hand Shannon Hurn the captaincy two years ago was a “no brainer” that has reaped big rewards.
Hurn will notch his 200th game when he lines up in Thursday night’s elimination final against the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium.
The 29-year-old was appointed skipper at the end of 2014 when Darren Glass retired and West Coast have since transformed themselves back into a premiership contender.
The Eagles reached the grand final in Hurn’s first year at the helm and while they could only manage sixth place this year, they enter the finals in the hottest of form after beating GWS, Hawthorn and Adelaide in consecutive weeks.
Hurn has been a strong contributor and Simpson says the South Australian was the perfect choice as captain when the job came up two years ago.
“Well, he campaigned pretty hard in that pre-season in 2014,” he joked on Monday.
“It’s player vote as well as the coaches’ input.
“It was a bit of a no brainer in the end. The votes were pretty clear.
“To take over from someone like Darren Glass is a big void to fill. His leadership has been really important for our club.”
Hurn was quick to play down the significance of his milestone, saying West Coast’s finals series was at the forefront of his thinking.
But he said he was proud to join current and former teammates like Matt Priddis, Dean Cox, Glass, Daniel Kerr and Quinten Lynch in West Coast’s 200 club.