Harvey confident Blues can fill the void - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harvey confident Blues can fill the void

By Adam Cooper 05/11/2008 07:20:45 PM Comments (0)

Former St Kilda great Robert Harvey is confident Carlton can fill the void - both in the pang of not playing and experiencing the ultimate AFL success.

Although St Kilda have dominated Carlton since 2002, Harvey has liked what he's seen of the Blues.

That's why when it came to taking up a role as an assistant coach after his 21-season playing career ended in September, he chose them over his former club and Collingwood.

Having been impressed by the likes of Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs, Matthew Kreuzer and Andrew Walker in recent years, Harvey's job now will be grooming them and their successors into even better players.

Carlton's star is on the rise, and the new development coach is excited at what lays ahead.

"Having played against Carlton a lot and seeing these guys come through, I just felt ... stuff was going on, I just thought it would be an exciting place to be," said Harvey, who began his new job on Tuesday.

"So far that's been the case."

Fittingly for such a champion onballer, whose 383-game career earned him two Brownlow medals and a countless kilometres run, Harvey will help coach Carlton's midfield.

But his main job will be overseeing the development of the club's younger players, alongside former West Coast assistant coach Darren Harris, appointed Carlton's new development and academy manager.

Under head coach Brett Ratten, Harris and Harvey will work together coaching those in their first four years in the AFL system.

"It will be making sure that our players are prepared the best," Ratten said.

"Last year (2008) we were heading in the right direction, but with these two appointments that will put the icing on the cake."

Harvey is yet to decide whether he wants to coach at senior level, but was confident Carlton could help him devote his energy into achieving the team success that eluded him at Moorabbin.

"To get straight into the coaching side of it and helping out guys who are lot younger than me and have got it all ahead of them is what I wanted to do," he said.

"It's where I wanted to start and to be here now doing that, it's going to help me get over not playing and it gives me a huge focus.

"I'm going to be motivated still to be part of a successful club.

"I wasn't able to achieve that as a player, so I'm hoping to push that."

Harvey said the handful of comeback wins Carlton produced in 2008 underlined the Blues' spirit, and he nominated handling expectation as the biggest challenge the club would confront in 2009.

"They'd be hoping to play some finals, but if it's not next year it will be in the next few years," he said.

Meanwhile, Ratten confirmed ex-Melbourne defender Chris Johnson would train with Carlton, and that the Blues were interested in recruiting him via the pre-season draft.

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