BOOMER

Inside Sport - - INSIDER - – JS ––––

BY BRENT HAR­VEY, PAN MACMIL­LAN AUS­TRALIA ,¤¥¦.§§

Is there a more sat­is­fy­ing feel­ing than when you si­lence a knocker? For­tu­nately – or un­for­tu­nately – Brent “Boomer” Har­vey has made a ca­reer of it. His first “I told you so” moment came early in his ca­reer, in 1995. Re­peat­edly told as a ju­nior player that he was too small to make the big time in Aussie rules, aged 17 and at a fight­ing weight of just 64kg, he was drafted by the North Mel­bourne Kan­ga­roos. Four years later he’d be walk­ing as tall as a gi­ant as an AFL premier­ship win­ner. If only they could see him now. Ac­tu­ally, Boomer is such a lon­glast­ing fix­ture of the game across Aus­tralia that it’s sat­is­fy­ing to know the knock­ers prob­a­bly have been watch­ing all these years. We just hope for their sake they man­aged to avoid the tele­vi­sion for a few days as high­lights pack­ages of him break­ing the record for most AFL games played were aired re­peat­edly in early Au­gust. Any study of Boomer is also a study of the Roos as a club, and there’s a lot of water to swim in as you pass un­der many bridges in this book, from North’s al­most-merger with Fitzroy, to the Wayne Carey scan­dal, to the last­ing ef­fects of men­tors like De­nis Pa­gan, Dean Lai­d­ley and Brad Scott. Pub­lished in the lead-up to his record-427th game, Boomer is a fine cel­e­bra­tion of a bril­liant ca­reer: which ain’t over yet.

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