Second Saints flag drives Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Second Saints flag drives Harvey

Roger Vaughan 16/03/2011 05:51:55 PM Comments (0)

Every time Robert Harvey enters St Kilda's new headquarters he needs only a quick glance to the right to get motivated.

The trophy cabinet in the foyer at Seaford features the famous 1966 AFL premiership cup - their one and only.

Like everyone else at St Kilda, Harvey desperately wants it to have some company.

Harvey, one of the greatest players in St Kilda and AFL history, is back with the Saints after his emotional 2008 retirement and two years as a Carlton assistant coach.

Professionally, the return to the Saints makes no difference to him - Harvey grew up with the lesson that whatever job you had, you gave it your best.

But for all the money and ruthlessness in the AFL, passion still counts for plenty.

"Certainly emotionally - we walk through reception every day and you see the one cup, the players have gotten close (to another)," he told AAP.

"I'm hell-bent on helping the club in whatever way I can get that second one.

"Now and then you notice it and think 'Gee, it would be nice to double that'. That's the aim."

Harvey prolonged his playing career to 383 games for the Saints, third on the all-time list, mainly because he wanted to help his club win their second flag.

He became the first man to play in the AFL for 21 consecutive seasons.

Harvey won the 1997-98 Brownlow Medals and played in the losing '97 grand final side as a gut-busting midfielder who built a peerless reputation for professionalism and humility.

In his two years at Carlton, the Saints went so close to two flags, losing narrowly to Geelong in the '09 grand final and then drawing with Collingwood before their mauling in the replay last year.

Harvey returned to St Kilda with an outsider's perspective, but had only a few minor observations about what they could do better.

"There was a lot of confirmation that things are firmly on track, especially where they work for each other and cover for each other as a team," he said.

"They're where they need to be.

"Definitely, there's a maturity in the group - (they) showed signs two years ago, but certainly that's been really noticeable, coming back.

"There's a real drive and passion."

That one premiership cup has become something of an indictment on a club that has had the talent to go all the way, especially in the last two decades.

But Harvey, who tried harder than most Saints players to elevate the team from good to great, denied that history weighed on the current group.

"They hear a lot about the past, but they weren't part of it, so they don't buy into it," Harvey said.

"That's the good thing and they have pages to write themselves, they're open about that.

"They're respectful of the past, but they shouldn't be weighed down about what's gone on in the past, it's not them."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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