They’re the coaching quartet that helped guarantee Shaun Burgoyne would enjoy a great AFL career.
Burgoyne hit the jackpot when he joined Port Adelaide in 2000 to have Phil Walsh, Mark Williams, Alastair Clarkson and Dean Bailey as his mentors.
The Hawthorn star said on Monday he will forever be grateful to Walsh, who made Burgoyne realise the importance of setting high standards for himself.
Burgoyne remembered Walsh, who died in horrific circumstances last Friday, as a fantastic football man and a great bloke as well.
“I don’t think I would have been able to step into AFL footy the way I did and play straight up if it wasn’t for the guidance of Phil, Clarko, Chocco and Bails,” Burgoyne said.
“Their knowledge of the game was outstanding and the way they were able to teach you the game was first-class.
“He (Walsh) taught me a lot about having standards when I first came in – elite standards, having an elite lifestyle.”
After working with Walsh for eight years at Port, Burgoyne went to Hawthorn in late 2009.
“When I first went (to Port), he was pretty hard on me,” Burgoyne said.
“He’d give me a few sprays here and there.
“But he was also very caring and nurturing of all the younger players, trying to get the most out of them.
“His attention to detail was something that will stick with me – young or old, he expected you to fully pay attention.”
Clarkson now coaches Burgoyne at Hawthorn, while Williams is at Richmond and Bailey died of cancer in March last year.
Burgoyne said he and Clarkson are among about half a dozen staff at Hawthorn who have directly worked with Walsh – typical of his vast impact around the AFL.
“It was very hard to take the news … obviously Phil touched a lot of people over his journey, being at a few different clubs,” Burgoyne added.
“He’s going to be missed.”