MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Shannon Hurn of the Eagles leads the team out with Luke Shuey (R) during the round five AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the West Coast Eagles at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 21, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

West Coast skipper Shannon Hurn has stepped down from the role after five seasons.

The All Australian defender said the time is right to hand over the duties and focus on his own performance.

Hurn thanked his fellow teammates and club officials for the opportunity to lead the club.

“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,” Hurn told the club website.

“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.”

The 32-year old steps aside as the third longest-running club captain, trailing only John Worsfold and Darren Glass.

West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett commended Hurn and said he will continue to play key role in 2020.

“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.”