Brent Harvey to rule roost against Irish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brent Harvey to rule roost against Irish

16/10/2008 05:08:57 PM Comments (0)

Before he is a permanent captain in the AFL, Brent Harvey will lead his country.

The four-time All-Australian and four-time best and fairest winner at North Melbourne was the obvious choice to be made skipper of the young 25-man squad for this month's International Rules series against Ireland.

The midfielder and half-forward has led the Kangaroos, most recently late this season when Adam Simpson was injured.

But since Harvey made his AFL debut in 1996, Wayne Carey, Anthony Stevens and Simpson have been the official North skippers.

Carey also captained Australia.

"It was a very easy case to argue ... Brent Harvey was a unanimous choice by the match committee and (other) people I've spoken to - it's fantastic to have him on board," said Australian coach Mick Malthouse.

Harvey, 30, a member of North's 1999 premiership team, is by far the most experienced player in the Australian squad.

He has played 264 senior games and Port Adelaide's Shaun Burgoyne is next on 148.

Asked about the fact he is yet to permanently captain North, Harvey smiled and said: "we've got a fantastic skipper in Adam Simpson, so I don't need to worry about that."

This will be Harvey's fifth International Rules series, a record.

He won the Jim Stynes Medal in 2003 as Australia's best player.

Harvey is two games away from joining Craig Bradley, Terry Daniher and Steve Malaxos as the only Australians to have played in nine Tests.

"When they gave me the opportunity to be captain, I certainly jumped at it and it's a huge privilege and a huge honour," Harvey said.

"I've played three or four times now and I'm probably the most experienced player, even though they've changed the rules a little bit.

"I'm really excited, we'll gel together.

"I don't really know what to say to these boys, because they're all great players at their own clubs - I'm sure it's going to be a pretty easy job for me to do."

Even more important than Harvey's career highlights is the universal respect he commands in the league.

"One of the things you do look to in leadership, of course, is the proven ability of people to take over a side and have an impact, not only on the ground but off the ground," Malthouse said.

"But when the chips are down, the player can come to the forefront and Brent Harvey has been that sort of player right through.

"He's one of the players who is held in the highest regard by all coaches in the AFL."

Hawthorn utility Campbell Brown and West Coast midfielder Adam Selwood were named as Harvey's deputies.

Brown and Selwood are AFL premiership players and were also part of the last International Rules team in 2006.

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