New Arden St digs delight Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New Arden St digs delight Harvey

By Roger Vaughan 30/11/2009 10:43:45 PM Comments (0)

Christmas 2009 came 25 days early for North Melbourne captain Brent Harvey.

The Kangaroos star admits he struggled to sleep the night before the AFL club's move into their new Arden St headquarters.

The $15 million development is a huge leap from the squat old buildings and prefabricated huts that are in the process of being removed next door.

Harvey, having spent his career operating out of those facilities, can vividly remember his first day at North and will not forget this "day one" in a hurry, either.

"I seriously woke up three or four times last night, I was so excited," he said on Monday.

"Driving in here, I don't reckon you could get the smirk off my face because I've had it for 14 years and to finally walk into a building like this, it's a pretty good feeling."

The much-anticipated North headquarters will bring the whole club into the one facility, after several years where some parts of the administration were off-site because the Arden St offices simply were not big enough.

It will also mean a re-defining of the club's famed "Shinboner Spirit", the never-say-die attitude that is a key feature of the Kangaroos.

"We know what Shinboner means, but a lot of other people think it's back against the wall, facilities are crap and all that sort of stuff," Harvey said.

"Now we're turning over a new leaf."

New coach Brad Scott said the headquarters are better than Collingwood's Lexus Centre, renowned as an ultra-modern base.

Scott was an assistant coach at the Magpies before winning the North job.

"These are superior, no doubt - the Lexus Centre is an extremely good facility, but modern technology really dictates that five years on, things are a little bit out of date," Scott said.

"This facility certainly rates with anything I've seen in AFL footy.

"When any player wants to move clubs, they want to be assured they're going to get at least as good an opportunity to maximise their potential as they did at their previous club."

Scott said the new HQ also meant there were no excuses for North, but he expects the young team to thrive on whatever added pressure that would bring.

Harvey also pointed out that whatever the buildings, North must continue to attract the right sort of people to work there.

Scott is eyeing the expansive weights room with interest and plans to put more muscle on his players.

"One of the things of a young group is the strength isn't what it should be, just by virtue of their age and maturity," he said.

"Perhaps the game has moved along a long way since I played.

"Players are fitter and probably quicker than ever, but strength is something that has dropped off a little bit."

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