Brent Harvey could be wearing North Melbourne’s substitute vest in his looming 400th game.
In game number 398 against Geelong, Harvey was the substitute for the first time in his career and played only the final term.
Despite Harvey’s seniority at Arden Street and his personal milestone ahead, coach Brad Scott said he could be handed the vest again in future.
But it’s not a reflection of Harvey’s diminishing worth at the club, rather a reflection of Scott’s view of the value of having a powerful substitute – in spite of what players might think of the role.
“We think the sub can be a weapon for us,” he said.
“Coaches can often say the sub role is a really important role but its really hard to convince players of that.
“They hear your words but they think ‘it’s probably the 22nd man, it’s probably the guy who’s a bit unlucky’.
“(Harvey) played his role perfectly for the team (against Geelong) … it sends a great message to the rest of the players.
“We don’t rule out using him in that role again and we don’t rule out using other senior players in that role.”
Against Essendon on Friday night, Scott has a selection dilemma in his forward line after Drew Petrie’s one-week ban for striking Andrew Mackie.
The Kangaroos vice-captain appeared to punch Mackie in the jaw after the defender blocked his movement down the ground.
Scott said Petrie was “disappointed with himself” for the petulant act.
“It speaks for itself, he’s our vice-captain, he let himself down and let the team down,” he said.
Petrie will watch Friday night’s match from the coaching box, which Scott said was the only upside.
“If there’s a silver lining from something like this it’s hopefully he gets a different perspective on the game that will help him on field.”
In his place, Scott suggested at least five contenders to move to the Kangaroos forward line, with Aaron Black possibly leading the field.
Black kicked three goals and took nine marks in wet conditions against the VFL leaders Box Hill last Saturday.
“(Black) has been steadily improving all year after shoulder surgery,” he said.
“We know what Aaron is capable of and we’ve been reluctant to bring him in until he’s rediscovered his best form.
Scott named Mason Wood, Lindsay Thomas and Robin Nahas, if fit, as other contenders to replace Petrie.