Mark Harvey

Mark Harvey (born 11 June 1965) is a former Australian rules football player who played for the Essendon Football Club. In August 2013, he took over as interim senior coach of the Brisbane Lions following the resignation of Michael Voss as senior coach but on 3 October 2013, he resigned from the Lions. He returned to Perth with the intention of taking a year away from hands-on involvement in football.[1] Harvey is currently serving as an assistant coach at the Essendon Football Club.[2]

Mark Harvey
Harvey in June 2017
Personal information
Full name Mark Harvey
Date of birth (1965-06-11) 11 June 1965
Original team(s) Keilor (EDFL)
Height 184 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1984–1997 Essendon 206 (170)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1985–1994 Victoria
Coaching career3
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2007–2011 Fremantle 97 (39–58–0)
2013 Brisbane Lions 3 (2–1–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1997.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2013.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Playing career

Harvey was originally known as a skilful forward, playing that role in the 1984 and 1985 premiership sides, including kicking four goals in the 1985 premiership win. However, injuries in his later career (particularly to his ankles) meant he was used more as a defender, which reduced the stress on his body. In his role as a defender he often played as centre half-back against much taller opponents, making up for his lack of height with his aggressive attack on the football.[3]

Harvey finished in the top five of the Essendon best-and-fairest on four occasions, winning the award in 1992. He was named in the All-Australian team in 1985 and 1993; he also played in premiership sides both those years as well as in 1984. He was also the side's leading goalkicker for the 1985 season, an unusual feat for a medium-sized forward in a premiership winning team. In 2002 he was named as the 18th greatest player to play for the club in the "Champions of Essendon" list.[4]

In 2001 Harvey admitted that he suffered from bulimia for 3 to 4 years of his playing career, after he gained weight following a broken leg.[5]

Coaching career

Harvey retired in 1997 after realising injuries had taken their toll on his body and he could no longer contribute to the side in the way he would like. He remained at Essendon as an assistant coach under Kevin Sheedy, and in the years since was often suggested as a possible senior coach. At the end of the 2004 season Harvey was a front-runner for a number of coaching jobs, but either wasn't offered or chose not to take each of them, and continued to be an assistant at Essendon.

However, after the end of the 2005 season, Harvey resigned as Essendon assistant coach to take up a job at Fremantle as an assistant coach to Chris Connolly. He helped Fremantle have their most successful season to date in 2006, reaching the preliminary final, but following a poor start to the 2007 season, Connolly resigned as senior coach after round 15. Harvey was then offered the caretaker role for the remainder of the season. After taking two days to consider the offer he accepted and was senior coach for the first time against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on 21 July 2007.[6] Fremantle performed very well, scoring their highest ever score in South Australia and winning by 25 points.[7][8] Harvey led Fremantle to win four of the seven remaining games in 2007 but it wasn't enough to make the finals, finishing in eleventh place.

On 17 September 2007 it was announced that Harvey would be the coach of Fremantle on a contract for the next three seasons.[9]

The 2008 season did not start well for Harvey with Fremantle only winning twice in the first thirteen rounds, including a demoralising loss to the previously winless Melbourne despite leading by 50 points at half time in round seven. At the end of the 2008 season Fremantle finished fourteenth on the ladder with six wins and sixteen losses. The following year at the end of the 2009 season Fremantle finished fourteenth on the ladder yet again with six wins and sixteen losses.[10]

In 2010 Harvey returned Fremantle to the finals after a three-year absence. Fremantle won its first three matches of a season for the first time ever; which culminated in an upset seven-point victory over the previous season's premiers, Geelong. But late in the season, Harvey rested up to half of his regular side ahead of a match against Hawthorn in Launceston and the result was a 116-point defeat, just one point off their record margin loss of 117 points suffered against Adelaide just a season earlier. But against the same opponents a fortnight later, the Dockers won its first finals match under Harvey, and its first since 2006, with a win by 5 goals. Fremantle's 2010 season ended in a disappointing defeat to Geelong at the MCG a week later.

He was involved in a nightclub fight in Darwin, Northern Territory on 17 June 2007 when he was king hit and knocked unconscious. This followed Fremantle's loss to Western Bulldogs and on the same night as Chris Tarrant was involved in an altercation with Jason McCartney.[11]

On 13 June 2010 The Age newspaper journalist Emma Quayle revealed in her book Nine Lives: football, cancer and getting on with life on former Essendon Football Club player Adam Ramanauskas that Harvey had, 10 years earlier, suffered from a brain tumour. Following successful treatment, Harvey has remained in remission ever since.[12]

Despite being praised for his efforts in attempting to field a fit Fremantle side late in the season when the club was suffering one of the worst injury tolls in the AFL, Mark Harvey was unexpectedly sacked on 15 September 2011 following the 2011 AFL season.[13] He was replaced by former St Kilda coach Ross Lyon who on the same night of Harvey's dismissal had resigned from his post as Saints coach.

In November 2011, Harvey signed on as a senior assistant coach to the Brisbane Lions for the 2012 season.[14]

On 13 August 2013, Harvey was appointed caretaker senior coach of Brisbane for the remainder of 2013, replacing Michael Voss who had been told his contract would not be renewed. Voss opted not to coach out his contract which expired at the end of the 2013 season.[15]

On 3 October 2013, Harvey quit the Brisbane Lions to return to Perth.[16]

On 22 October 2014, Harvey announced that he would return to Essendon as an assistant coach.[17]


Playing statistics

 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
1984 Essendon 381628232103924973N/A1.81.413.12.415.64.6N/A6
1985 Essendon 38244834354121475138N/A2.01.414.
1986 Essendon 382021242587233090N/A1.
1987 Essendon 1100101000.
1988 Essendon 11514102435830182260.90.716.23.920.15.51.70
1989 Essendon 11211101505720751160.90.812.54.817.34.31.32
1990 Essendon 11316141632618959131.
1991 Essendon 11217131644120578131.
1992 Essendon 122113448943398240.
1993 Essendon 12274385109494122250.
1994 Essendon 18111244617043100.
1995 Essendon 11101136331694450.
1996 Essendon 1245431399412105390.
1997 Essendon 16125525802720.
Career 206 170 141 2900 815 3715 1010 173 0.8 0.7 14.1 4.0 18.0 4.9 1.2 26

Coaching statistics

 W  Wins  L  Losses  D  Draws  W%  Winning percentage  LP  Ladder position  LT  League teams
Season Team Games W L D W % LP LT
2007 Fremantle 743057.1%1116
2008 Fremantle 22616027.3%1416
2009 Fremantle 22616027.3%1416
2010 Fremantle 241410058.3%616
2011 Fremantle 22913040.9%1117
2013 Brisbane Lions 321066.7%1218
Career totals 100 41 59 0 41.0%

Champions of Essendon

In 2002 an Essendon panel ranked him at 18 in their Champions of Essendon list of the 25 greatest players ever to have played for Essendon.


  1. Atkinson, Tom (17 February 2014). "Mark Harvey happy in life". Radio 6PR. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  2. "Coaches Profiles". Essendon Football Club. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  3. Champions of Essendon Profile Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. List of Champions of Essendon Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Smith, Amanda; Abused Bodies Archived 7 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine; Radio National; 7 September 2001
  6. AAP; Harvey takes over AFL reins at Freo; 21 July 2007
  7. Fremantle scores at Aami Stadium
  8. Shiell, Alan; Dockers win in Harvey debut Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine; 21 July 2007
  9. AAP;Harvey named as Fremantle coach;17 September 2007; Retrieved on 17 September 2007
  10. Butler, Steve; Dockers check into the Hall of Shame Archived 20 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine; 5 May 2008; The West Australian
  11. Beacham, D & Duffield, M;Coach hit, Tarrant scuffle in Darwin; 18 June 2007
  12. Emma Quayle; AFL coach reveals secret: my brain tumour battle; 5 May 2008; The Age
  13. Simon White; Lyon's den as Harvey cops heave-ho; 15 September 2011; WA Today
  14. Duffield, Mark (4 November 2011). "Harvey fired up to roar at Lions". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  15. Brisbane Lions chasing Paul Roos as Michael Voss given marching orders | The Australian 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013
  17. Harvey appointed assistant coach, Essendon Football Club official website, 22 October 2014
  18. Mark Harvey's player profile at AFL Tables
  19. "AFL Tables - Mark Harvey - Coaching Record".
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