Essendon champion to move on from coaches' box

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fairly easy
After 22 years as an AFL assistant and senior coach, Mark Harvey will depart the AFL coaches' box on Saturday.
ESSENDON champion Mark Harvey's 22-year stint in the AFL coaches' box will end after the Bombers' clash with Melbourne on Saturday.

After time at Essendon, Brisbane and Fremantle – where he was senior coach for four years – Harvey will transition into a dual off-field position.

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His time will be split across commercial stakeholder management with a focus on Bombers coterie groups, and a football role between pro scouting and opposition analysis.

Harvey has been in discussions with Bombers chief executive Xavier Campbell for at least 12 months about the switch which has started to be actioned in recent weeks.

Across the past month, Harvey has all but handed the reins as Bombers' stoppages coach to backline coach James Kelly.

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It has prompted senior coach-in-waiting Ben Rutten to assume full responsibility of the defence vacated by Kelly.

"At my age and where he (Campbell) sees me at with the football club, at 55 and one of the oldest coaches still in a football department, I made comment to him and said 12 months ago about what it might look for me," Harvey told AFL.com.au.

"It's a bit more of the coterie side of things, with a little bit of football department input around that area, (to provide) some expertise and what I've learnt over the last 20-odd years.

"Having a look at things like list development and a little bit of pro scouting.

"As a coach you study the opposition, you keep an eye on all of the players and it gives you a good understanding.

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