North Melbourne should have been AFL powerhouse: Brent Harvey

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Former North Melbourne coach Denis Pagan. Photo: Pat Scala Denis Pagan and Kevin Sheedy. Harvey said Pagan should have given North more exposure, the way Sheedy did for Essendon. Photo: Craig Abraham
Nanjing Night Net

North Melbourne could have been as big as Collingwood or Essendon had they capitalised on their success in the 1990s, veteran Brent “Boomer” Harvey says.

That failure to seize momentum was one that North could not afford, with some players going without pay for months, although Harvey writes there was always plenty of money to keep the club’s star Wayne Carey happy.

Instead then-coach Denis Pagan hid away star players like Carey and Glenn Archer from the media and fans, and the Roos quickly went from premiers to a financial basket case.

In his autobiography Boomer, to be released next week before his record-breaking 427th game, Harvey praises Pagan as a “father figure, mentor and incredible teacher”, but criticises him for refusing to promote the Roos.

“While [then coach] Kevin Sheedy was shouting from the rooftops about his club, Essendon, constantly pumping the club up in the media to whip fans into a frenzy, Denis Pagan had Arden Street in lockdown,” he wrote.

Harvey said Pagan should have let North’s big name players appear in the media and take part in more promotional events, but instead of attracting new fans, they pushed existing ones away.

“Instead of taking advantage, we were complacent: standing still while the rest of the teams in the competition embraced their fans with a big group hug,” he wrote.

“Our fans felt neglected and frozen out because they rarely heard from their captain, coach and players.”

Harvey wrote that until recently, North’s facilities were so poor, schoolchildren visiting Arden Street would laugh at the disrepair.

In 2007, Michael Firrito threw a medicine ball against a wall and broke a hole in it and thousands of bees swarmed out.

Harvey’s book includes a quote from Archer, who said the club always ran out of money at the end of the year and he received several pay cuts during his time at the Roos.

“I nearly had a punch-on with the finance guy once because I hadn’t been paid for nine months,” Archer said.

“I was borrowing money off my mum in order to make ends meet.”

But both Harvey and Archer make clear the club’s biggest star, Carey, did not have to hustle for money in the same way.

“Wayne Carey was looked after first, then everyone else got paid,” Harvey wrote.

Archer recalled finding in the glove box of Carey’s car a cheque from the club for $150,000.

“He goes, ‘Oh f—! I forgot to bank that,'” Archer said. “I was thinking, Who the f— forgets to bank $150,000?”

Carey, a columnist for Fairfax Media, has recently made peace with former teammates Archer and Anthony Stevens.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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