Far from easing his way towards the AFL games record, ageless Kangaroo Brent Harvey is going flat-out.
It’s the way Harvey has played throughout a North Melbourne career spanning 21 seasons and 410 games – and counting – and coach Brad Scott has long since given up trying to change him.
Harvey, who turns 38 in May, showed he had lost none of his trademark speed in kicking three running goals in the opening-round victory over Adelaide.
The 177cm pocket dynamo is due to break Michael Tuck’s alltime games record of 426 late in the home-and-away season.
“We’ve tried (to slow Harvey down) because we thought we’d have to,” Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
“We test a little bit differently now, we use a lot more GPS technology to test the speed and agility and workrate and his numbers are the same or better than they’ve been in my time at North Melbourne, which is just remarkable.
“We tend to group guys into age groups where we might have to manage workloads, but he just doesn’t miss a session for us.
“In January we had to force him to take some extra time off because it’s just not in his makeup to do that and I know when he goes away from the club, although he’s not here he’s still training by himself.
“He’s just a remarkable athlete and a really driven competitor.”
Harvey will again by a key figure when North Melbourne travel to the Gabba to take on the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.
Kayne Turner shapes as the likely replacement for the luckless Jed Anderson, who suffered a serious hamstring injury last weekend against Adelaide in his first game for the Kangaroos since crossing from Hawthorn.
Anderson is set to be sidelined for eight weeks.
The Kangaroos will come up against former teammate Ryan Bastinac, who admitted earlier this week that a key factor in his move to Brisbane was to spend more time in his favoured position as an inside midfielder.
“He really struggled for game-time in that particular position with us,” said Scott.
“That being said, he played 17 games (last year) and was an important player for us.
“But he saw greater opportunity and we saw an opportunity to get our first-round draft pick back that we had given up for Jed Anderson.”