Posted: 24 August, 2016
Champion North Melbourne quartet won't be offered new contracts
Brent Harvey will not be offered a new contract by North Melbourne for the 2017 season.
Drew Petrie, Nick Dal Santo and Michael Firrito have also played their last season with the Kangaroos.
Harvey broke the VFL/AFL all-time games record a few weeks ago and is currently sitting on 430 career games.
The 38-year-old, playing his 21st season, is one of the club’s greatest ever players with a premiership, four All-Australians and a club record five best-and-fairests to his credit.
Harvey is also a member of the North Melbourne Team of the Century.
He is averaging 21 touches a game this year and is on track for a career-high goal tally with 34 already next to his name for 2016.
Petrie is also one of the club’s great players with 314 games and 428 goals over 16 seasons.
The 33-year-old led the club’s goalkicking on five occasions and earned All-Australian honours in 2011.
After crossing from St Kilda at the end of 2013, Dal Santo has pushed his career out to 320 matches at North Melbourne.
Dal Santo is a three-time All-Australian.
Firrito, a reliable defender over much of his 14-year career, has 273 games to his name.
"It's a heartbreaking decision and one that wasn't taken lightly," North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said.
"The decision was taken to move the announcement forward because we were determined to give them the opportunity to play in Melbourne.
"The decision has been made in the best interests of the football club
"I spoke to all four boys yesterday. To the boys' credit, they completely understand where the football club is coming from.
"I agree that (all four players) could contribute in 2017. But the future goes longer than that.
"I'm not ashamed to say I love these guys and if they were here in 2017, I'd play them. That would not be in our best interests.
"It's about where the club is positioned for the mediun to long term.
"Michael Firrito is the ultimate clubman, everything we love about North Melbourne.
"If we continued to play our senior players, we'd lose them in a year and we'd lose our younger guys because of a lack of opportunity.
"(Having) potentially the last game in Melbourne this week accelerated this decision.
"The lead up to the decision has been a roller coaster of emotions.
"If it was solely about Boomer's ability to play next year, he'd play on. But the opportunity cost to the club is far too great.
"Having the players walk off the ground in Melbourne not knowing their futures would have been disastrous."
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