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Shannon Hurn: ‘I’ve found where I sit in the football world’

He’s a 2018 All-Australian and West Coast Eagles premiership captain, but Shannon Hurn started his football career in the small South Aussie town of Angaston. He took the time to go One on One with Jack Hudson.

Jack Hudson: Tell us what it was like growing up in the Barossa Valley and what your family life was like.

Shannon Hurn: I got to grow up on a farm in Angaston, I enjoyed that bit of freedom where you go out in a wide space.

Kicking the footy, cricket, we had plenty of space to be able to do that and spend some time with mum and dad, which was great.

That was always exciting as a young fella.

My sister was always a couple of years younger than me, so I always tried to rope her into having a kick or playing cricket.

That’s how I worked on my skills, she was always good to have a kick with.

I started playing junior sport – football and cricket – at Angaston in about year three, I would’ve been about eight-years-old.

JH: What was it like the first time you played a game of footy?

SH: I’m not sure I can remember my first game, I can remember modified footy.

We used to play inside one of the 50s, just went junction to junction, cross ways.

I can’t remember too much of that; I remember before that at half-time of the A-grade, I was always trying to have a kick, even at every break I was kicking with mates, kicking at goals.

I was always down the park having a kick.

I remember playing a modified carnival, that would’ve been my first year, and we won it, so that was exciting.

Dad was still playing, and I think he was coaching the under 17s at Angaston.

JH: Further into your playing days, you had the decision of either advancing with your footy, or your cricket. Why did you pick footy?

SH: I was fortunate enough that I could play cricket in the summer and winter in the footy through Angaston and Central District, and Northern Districts and the SACA – they allowed me to do both up until year 12.

I was 17 going on 18, and that’s when I had to decide on what I would like to pursue.

The draft was coming up, I had a couple of opportunities in cricket as well.

Probably the main reason I chose footy was I was closer.

I think I was closer to the AFL level than I was with cricket.

Cricket, I was about three or four years with proper technique, going through the system, understanding my game, whereas football I was a touch closer.

I enjoyed that, so that’s why I went down that path.

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Jack grew up in Gawler, South Australia – just 45 minutes north of Adelaide – and has a passion for all things football and soccer. Jack has worked in the media for more than four years, and hosts his own sports show on Barossa radio station BBBfm. He previously played football for Elizabeth, South Gawler, Gawler Central and at junior level with Central District, and is a die-hard Port Adelaide fan.