Brent Harvey wins battle of the veterans

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan says we may not see the likes of champions Brent Harvey and Adam Goodes again and the Swans star certainly won’t be sighted again after announcing his retirement on Saturday night.


Goodes kicked the first and last goals of the game, but it was Harvey’s Kangaroos who earned a 26-point win in a low-scoring encounter.

Harvey, second on the all-time games list with 408, has already signed up for next season, but Goodes waited until after Saturday’s match before deciding not play a 18th season and making his mind up without any public fanfare.

The dual Brownlow Medallist kicked the first and last goals of the game, kicking 2.2 overall, accumulated 18 touches and had an equal team-leading ten marks.

The 35-year-old showed his feisty side in the third quarter in a shoving match with Scott Thompson.

Goodes finished outright fourth on the Swans’ all-time goalkickers list with 464, his brace on Saturday taking him two clear of Tony Lockett and leaving him three behind another former teammate, Barry Hall.

It was 37-year-old Harvey however, who can look forward to playing in a preliminary final against West Coast next Saturday.

Harvey goaled in the second quarter and should have had another in the third, but kicked a behind into an open goal from close range.

He finished with 1.1 and 16 disposals.

McLachlan paid tribute to both men in the pre-match function.

“They have been both extraordinary athletes, enduring and resilient and we may not see their likes ever again, it’s been a remarkable effort,” McLachlan said.

“Brent Harvey played his first game in 1996….. I suspect by the time Brent retires he’ll be able to access his superannuation straight away.”\

McLachlan expressed the hope Goodes played on, but his wish wasn’t granted.

His second half of the season has been remarkable.” McLachlan said of Goodes.

It was definitely the last game for retiring Sydney defender Rhyce Shaw and possibly also for another Swan, Lewis Jetta, who is rumoured to be seeking a trade and was substituted late in the third quarter.