Highly respected West Coast Eagles captain Shannon Hurn has decided to step aside from the role after five seasons.

The 2018 premiership skipper and two-time all-Australian vice-captain considers this to be the right time to hand over the responsibility as he focuses on his own preparation and performance.

“There have been on-going conversations with the club for the past couple of years and this just feels like the right time to relinquish my role as captain,” the straight-shooting Hurn said.

“Instinct is an important part of the game and my gut tells me this is the right time for the next generation of players to lead the way. This is a decision that is based around what is best for the club over the next four or five years, not just the 2020 season.

“I will still lead in the same way that I always have, I am committed to helping my teammates be better players and to build towards our next premiership. That doesn’t change.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the role and it has been a great honour and privilege to lead this wonderful club. I would like to thank all the players, coaches, staff, members and fans for their outstanding support over the last five years.”

“While I have really enjoyed being captain, I feel at this stage in my career I can’t commit the time and pay the respect that the role needs and requires.”

Hurn sits third in the list of longest serving captains at the club with 120 games as skipper  – behind John Worsfold (138) and Darren Glass (129). It is no coincidence that all three were - and are - no-nonsense defenders.

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said Hurn had been an outstanding leader and respected his decision to stand down from the role.

“The captaincy is a very important role within the organisation and has evolved enormously even in the last decade,” Nisbett said.

“Shannon has led our club impeccably over the last five or six years and could not be more highly regarded by everyone at the club.

“He calls it as he sees it and even in making this decision he has been very clear about it.

“Obviously he will continue to play an important role in the team and will support his successor to transition into the position.”

West Coast will follow its usual process with the appointment of the club’s 11th captain. Players and key football department staff will work together on arriving at a decision and that recommendation will be presented to the Board of Directors.

Hurn initially rotated through the role in 2014 when Glass retired mid-season, sharing the responsibility with Josh Kennedy, Eric Mackenzie and Matt Priddis.