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Kangaroos’ rise lifts veteran

Saturday, 29th December, 2018

Jason Harvey plays a cover drive earlier this season. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan Jason Harvey plays a cover drive earlier this season. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

As a veteran at the South Cricket Club, Jason Harvey has seen his fair share of ups and downs but the form of the side this season gives him plenty of hope.

Harvey, 38, first played A Grade for the Roos way back in 1995 in what was a very strong South side.

“I really enjoyed playing with the likes of Schoie (Robert Schofield), Mark and Raymond Johns, as well as Mick Nolan and Nicko (Paul Nicholas) in those earlier years,” Harvey said.

“And later on Denis Carroll was always fun to play with.”

Nicholas remains Harvey’s teammate in the current A Grade side with the pair having played together since juniors.

In terms of opponents, Harvey lists Paul Attard, Jamie Ball and Central pair Jarred Paull and Cameron Wells as the toughest he’s come up against.

Harvey left town to study pharmacy before returning and eventually buying into the Outback Pharmacies business and again turning out for South.

He’s struggled with injuries over the years. The once promising baseball pitcher has suffered shoulder injuries and says that work commitments makes things tougher as he gets older.

“The body is not coping too well,” Harvey explained. 

“That’s more a product of how many hours I work, meaning I can’t really train and am always late to games and have to rush into the field without warming up.”

The Jason Harvey of 2018 is vastly different to the late 90s/early 2000s version.

“I bowl a lot slower than I used to,” he said. “Everyone will say this but I wish I had 21-year-old body with my 38-year-old brain. 

“My batting has changed a fair bit as well. I used to be a blocker who couldn’t get it off the square. Now I’m much more aggressive. 

“The fielding has probably changed the most. Back in the day I was very mobile and had a cannon arm. Now I’m a slug who can’t bend and can’t throw the length of the pitch.”

Success has been fleeting to say the least during Harvey’s time in the red and white, so much so that the wins this season has left him unsure of how to react.

“It (the success) has been different and often I don’t know how to react,” Harvey admitted. 

“I’m loving the happiness and positivity around the group and the feeling after a win, which hasn’t happened often in past years. 

“Really, I’m just proud of how far the club has come in the past few years, especially off the field. There’s still a long way to go and we haven’t learnt the art of winning or game situations yet, but that’ll come the more competitive games we play in.”

“My best memories for South has been playing in junior grand finals in the under 14s and 16s with my mates,” he added.

“Hopefully there are some A Grade finals to come this year.” 

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