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.