No looking back for Harvey
After completing his first official session as a Brisbane Lions assistant coach, Mark Harvey says he has moved on from his Fremantle sacking and has eyes only for the future.
Harvey was sensationally axed in September after 97 games in charge of Freo as former St Kilda coach Ross Lyon was ushered in.
After contemplating offers from a number of clubs, Harvey made the longest trip in the country to join the Lions.
He made his unofficial debut at the club last Thursday, inconspicuously watching training in the rain from the boundary line in a lime green shirt, but reported for duty in his grey Lions’ coaches’ shirt on Monday.
The former Essendon champion, 46, was polite and relaxed, but not keen to talk about his former employers.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve moved on,” Harvey said.
“When you get to a new club all you want to do is contribute to being a successful club and that’s my only purpose here.
“I’ve made the decision to come here and I’m more than happy to be here. We’ve got a lot of young kids to work with and it’s about us coaches extracting the talent.”
Harvey will not only work with the Lions’ forward line, but will also be a valuable sidekick for senior coach Michael Voss.
In much the same way Essendon has used Mark Thompson as an assistant to James Hird, Melbourne has Neil Craig in its football department to help Mark Neeld, and Rodney Eade is working alongside Nathan Buckley at Collingwood, Harvey’s experience is expected to complement Voss in Brisbane.
“I think they really understand that if you’ve got a young group you’ve got to make sure that you surround them with the best people you can,” Harvey said.
“I think they’ve looked at other models where a lot of the new coaches now are getting senior coaches next to them, and looking back I wish I had have done that when I started at Fremantle.”
In his time at Freo, Harvey said he respected the Lions as a team that would keep coming through all four quarters – a trait he attributed largely to Voss.
And although working with the least experienced part of the ground, the three-time premiership player said he was excited about the Lions’ front half.
“We’ve got a lot to work with when you’ve got a younger group,” he said.
“It’s about teaching them elements and aspects of the game in the forward line that can hopefully make you a good pressuring forward line as well as goal-kicking forward line.
“I’ve been really impressed with the way the players go about their training, they don’t necessarily have to be pushed by the coaches a lot, very respectful, and the club in many ways, from what I’ve seen, is heading in the right direction.”