North Melbourne veteran Brent Harvey has one goal in mind in signing a new one-year deal – and it’s not the 400 AFL games milestone.
Harvey said the desire to add another premiership to the Kangaroos’ 1999 title was behind him signing on for his 20th AFL season.
The 36-year-old said he received the thumbs up from Kangaroos coach Brad Scott which made the decision easy.
“I’ve always said I’d play on as long as my body and mind is sound, which it certainly is at this stage of the year,” Harvey said.
“I got the thumbs up from Brad which was the biggest thing; that he thinks I’m still contributing to the football club and can contribute next year.”
Harvey has played 378 games which is equal fifth on the all-time list with Essendon great Simon Madden.
A 20th season gives him a chance to break the coveted 400-game mark next season and move within striking distance of Michael Tucks’ record of 426.
Averaging a career-high 26.5 possessions a game, Harvey – who is considered a big chance to win a sixth club best and fairest – said the milestone wasn’t a motive.
“I honestly don’t think about it,” he said.
“I’m not playing for 400 games – I’m playing to win a premiership.”
He said he felt about 30 and was lucky to avoid too many serious injuries through his career.
He hoped to be signing another deal this time next season.
“Age is not a factor. I go out and love playing the game, love training with the boys. I’m really passionate about it.”
Director of football Geoff Walsh said the club was amazed by Harvey’s longevity.
“History says that guys at 36 years of age don’t continue to perform at the level he’s performing at,” Walsh said.
“To be in contention for All Australian honours and up there in awards, it’s just a credit not only to his longevity but also the way he prepares and his passion.”