Brent Harvey has been appointed playing-coach of North Heidelberg for the 2019 season.
The AFL games record holder was announced as Jimmy House’s successor prior to Tuesday night’s training session.
House resigned from the senior coaching position in January for personal reasons.
The 2018 AFL Victoria Northern Region Senior Coach of the Year guided the Bulldogs to the preliminary final last season – creating history as the first reigning Division 2 premier to play finals in Division 1.
A statement posted on the North Heidelberg website said Harvey was the ideal candidate to take the coaching reins in 2019:
“In recent weeks the football department has worked extremely hard to find a replacement with Jimmy’s departure,” the statement said.
“Whilst we realised an appointment was required to keep our pre-season on track, proper due diligence was required to find the right applicant and Brent was the ideal candidate to fill the vacant position.
“With Brent’s experience in the AFL system as a quality player and leader for North Melbourne, in addition to his recent years at North Heidelberg – winning two club best fairest in season 2017 and 2018 – plus being a runaway winner in the competition medal in his inaugural year with the Bulldogs.
“He feels it is time to step into the coaching caper and what better way than with a club that he has been associated with for many years, with father Neil and younger brother Shane being former or current greats of the club.
“Brent has evaluated the list and expects the club with the current depth at his disposal that there is an expectation that we can repeat our 2018 finals appearance and hopefully go a few steps further.”
Kane O’Brien and Stephen De Luca have been appointed senior assistants, with De Luca to also serve as strategy and opposition coach. Leigh Gilbert has named line coach.
Harvey is one of the AFL’s most decorated figures following a career that spanned 432 games across 21 seasons with North Melbourne.
A five-time best and fairest winner and four-time All Australian, Havery was also a member of the Kangaroos’ 1999 premiership team.
He joined North Heidelberg in 2017 and helped steer the Bulldogs to the Division 2 premiership, winning the competition best and fairest in the same season.
Harvey has been crowned club champion in both his two seasons at Shelley Reserve.