North Melbourne have expressed their 'disappointment' that Brent Harvey has stepped down as a coach at the club, but are delighted that the AFL legend will take on a new role moving forward. The Kangaroos announced on Friday that Harvey has stepped down as a development and assistant coach in order to spend more time with his young family.
The 45-year-old has been a coach at North Melbourne since 2016, but will now move into a newly-created role supporting the club's engagement with past players. "Whilst we’re disappointed 'Boomer' won’t continue as a coach, we respect his decision to spend more time fully supporting and enjoying his children’s various sporting pursuits," North Melbourne’s general manager of football Todd Viney said.
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"Boomer is a much-loved person around the club. He is as passionate as they come about getting North Melbourne back where we belong, and he holds a special place in the hearts of our members and fans, so we are thrilled he has decided to remain involved."
Harvey, who played an AFL record 432 games for North Melbourne, said he's excited to take on the new role in supporting the engagement of the club’s past players. He will also take on various other ambassador roles while getting to spend more time with wife Shayne and their three children Cooper, Lacie and Hudson.
"I’m really excited about this role - it’ll really create that link between our past and present," Harvey said. "Our past players know they are always welcome at games and at training or getting along to functions but they may be unsure about who to get in touch with to organise it. I’ll be there as the contact point but I’ll also reach out proactively about upcoming events, anniversaries and even the father-son and daughter days."
The Kangaroos have taken great strides in recent years to make sure past players are still involved with the club. "You only need to see when Winston Abraham was invited into the rooms just how much the club meant to him," Harvey said.
"Winston was obviously a premiership player and fan favourite but we want all our past players – whether they played in a flag or not, if they played 200 games or they were on the list and never played a game – to know that this is your club and we want to stay connected with you. The benefits of that connection then flows onto the LDUs and Larkeys and Sheezels and Wardlaws – this is an important place to so many people and you’re part of this special club."
Brent Harvey's son now a part of North Melbourne roster
Harvey's eldest son Cooper made his AFL debut for the Kangaroos this year after being presented with his jersey by his father. The loss of Harvey Sr from the coaching set-up comes as a blow for the Kangaroos, who are desperate to turn around their fortunes after multiple years in the doldrums.
But they will enter the 2024 season better placed than they have for a number of years. The Roos snared five young guns in the first round of the AFL draft to boost their lengthy rebuild.
They selected Tasmanian midfielder Colby McKercher at pick No.2 before going again at No.4 by taking Zane Duursma. McKercher was presented with his jumper by Harvey, who starred in North's last premiership way back in 1999.
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