North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey is more driven by his desire for premiership success on the eve of his 400th AFL game than at any other point of his storied career.
In Harvey’s first year at the club in 1996, he looked on as the Kangaroos won the flag, then was part of the Roos’ losing 1998 grand final side, before playing in their 1999 grand final triumph over Carlton.
It was a golden era in the club’s history that he admits warped his perception of the reality of AFL football.
“I was probably naive about the whole situation, thinking that I was going to be playing in four or five flags,” Harvey said.
“But we haven’t played in a grand final since then, so I would just love to experience that right now when it probably means a little bit more to me.
“I’m not being greedy – I absolutely love being a premiership player – but to achieve that with some of my best mates like Drew Petrie and Michael Firrito – that would be pretty special.”
North will wear a special guernsey, featuring Harvey’s nickname “Boomer”, when they take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Harvey said he was humbled to join Michael Tuck, Kevin Bartlett and Dustin Fletcher in the exclusive ‘400 Club’.
Tuck’s AFL games record of 426 would be within reach if Harvey plays on next year, but he said that wasn’t his motivation.
“If that happened it would be something that I would reflect on at the end of my career, but I’m certainly not playing to break Tucky’s record,” he said.
“I’m playing for one reason and one reason only … that’s a premiership.”
While Harvey has been clear about his desire to play on, coach Brad Scott has said he needs to see evidence that the evergreen onballer can continue to make a valuable contribution.
Harvey plans to meet with Scott next week in a bid to get a better idea of the coach’s plans for next season. When asked how he would like to be summed up as a player, Harvey nominated his ultra-competitive streak as his key feature.
“I think that’s my biggest asset,” he said.
“I hate losing and I love wining. I think that’s made me the player I am.
“I think the competitiveness in me is what’s dragged me along and made me play so much football.”