North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has described Brent Harvey as an “unbelievably valuable commodity” in the strongest sign yet the 400-game AFL veteran will play on with the Kangaroos next year.
Harvey looked as spritely as ever as he celebrated his historic milestone with a 72-point win over the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night, collecting 27 touches and kicking two goals to finish as one of the best on ground.
The occasion had became almost taboo for North during the week, and there were suggestions the club wasn’t making a big enough deal out of it after Scott refused to guarantee the 37-year-old another contract.
But if there is an icy relationship between the two, it wasn’t on show post-match as a gushing Scott praised Harvey as an “icon” of North Melbourne.
“We keep discussing about what is best for the football team and how we need to play our best footy and Boomer, at 400 games and in his late 30s, is like another coach – but a gun player as well,” Scott said.
“He’s amazed me for a long time.
“(But) he makes me feel pretty ordinary. I’m only two years older than him and I couldn’t do what he was doing 10 years ago, or ever.
“The way he keeps on, he’s up there with the most driven athletes I’ve ever seen.”
Scott said it was Harvey’s call to keep the hype surrounding his 400th game to a minimum.
Incredibly, North’s win continued a remarkable record for Harvey, who has tasted victory in every one of his milestone games.
“It says a lot about the club but I think it says equally as much about him,” Scott said.
“I reckon it’s a reflection on Boomer himself that his 21 teammates want to get out there and perform for him.”
Asked about Harvey’s future, Scott said he regretted addressing the issue the way he did.
“I answered some questions during the week about it – probably shouldn’t have,” Scott said.
“I really want tonight to be about celebrating his 400th.
“Let’s celebrate the milestone and we’ll discuss list management in October.”