A 62-point drubbing by the Adelaide Crows wasn’t how Brent Harvey wanted, or probably deserved, to bring down the curtain on his illustrious career at North Melbourne.
But as the Kangaroos bowed out of the AFL finals at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, an emotional Harvey, who teammates say “bleeds blue and white” said goodbye to the fans who had cheered him on for more than 20 years.
The AFL games record holder was clearly emotional as he left the ground as both sides stood in line to mark his achievements, along with those of North’s three other departing stars, Nick Dal Santo, Michael Firrito and Drew Petrie.
Harvey spoke to his teammates behind closed doors and Andrew Swallow said he told the group that he had always been happy just to play one game, let alone a record 432.
“He loves the club. He owes everything to this place because he’s spent more than half his life here,” Swallow said.
“He’s always going to be a Kangaroos man at heart.”
Harvey is yet to reveal if he intends to go on next year and coach Brad Scott wasn’t about to bring his AFL career to a close.
“In my view it’s never a coaches role to retire players. Ever,” he said.
“Players decide when they retire and I was determined never at any stage to coerce, force, direct, Boomer with what he wanted to do.
“I’m charged with responsibility of doing the right thing by our football club but I still regard myself as a players’ coach so the things that have unfolded in the second half of the year have been as tough as any period of my time in footy.
“But we will not force Boomer to make a decision one way or the other. That decision will be entirely his.”
Dal Santo is also yet to decide whether to play on with another and was feeling “a little bit numb” after the loss to the Crows.
“I’m a little bit confused. You just don’t know how you should be feeling,” he said.
“As for next year …I don’t know what the future holds.”