Family rallies behind dumped Fremantle coach Mark Harvey
Mark Harvey’s son has told of his family’s resolve after the former Fremantle coach was forced to “deal with the fact that he was no longer wanted”.
Trent Harvey, 19, said last Thursday began as any normal day before he called his mother, Donna, on the way home from work and was told the family needed to talk.
“I called mum, the normal routine to see if she needed anything … and she said, ‘You need to come home, we need to discuss some things regarding dad’,” Trent said.
“When she sounded like that, I knew it was pretty serious.
“Dad sat down and said, ‘Look, I won’t be the coach of Fremantle any more and we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing in the future yet, it’s way to early to even think about that’.
“He said they were still going to go on holiday as planned because it was a good opportunity to gather his thoughts, but he certainly wasn’t running away or hiding.
“He said everybody’s got to stick together and keep their head up.”
The next morning, Mark and Donna Harvey left for the El Questro Wilderness Park in Western Australia’s Kimberley for a pre-arranged holiday.
“After that five-minute meeting, I didn’t see him for the rest of the night,” Trent, a second-year journalism student, said.
“Dad left the house because he knew it was going to be a media hotspot.
“He didn’t have any words to describe it, he literally just sat on the couch and I don’t think any of us knew what was happening.
“It’s hard to deal with the fact that you’re no longer wanted in any job.”
Mark Harvey, who was replaced in sensational circumstances by former Saints coach Ross Lyon, steered the Dockers through 97 games after taking the reins midway through 2007. Last year, he lifted Fremantle to only its third finals appearance.
His tenure as coach followed his 206 games and three premierships with Essendon from 1984-97.
Trent, who described an inundation of support from friends and Fremantle fans, said the family was firmly established in WA with himself at uni and sister, Paige, 15, at school. He suggested a move back east was far from certain.
“We’re asking the same thing, what do we do now?. The move here, we came in 2006, has been one of the best choices we’ve ever made.
“He’s (his father’s) got a huge interest in business and in mining and he’s met a lot of people in that.
“Football might not necessarily be his next step, business may be, but … I don’t know.”