By Toby Prime
Boronia coach Matt Clark hopes to see little of young premiership star Harvey Chinn this season. Chinn’s unavailability from the Hawks would mean he is playing in the VFL, rising from the third tier of the Eastern Football League to secure a spot with Port Melbourne for 2019.
The left-footed midfielder was in and out of Eastern Ranges’ team last year, played under-19s at Boronia at the start of the season and ultimately played an important role in the Hawks’ senior grand final boilover over Ringwood.
A mention in the best players was testament to his development at Tormore Reserve. Clark rated Chinn’s work rate among the best he had seen.
“Every time he came back (from Ranges) he played really good footy so it was in the second half of the year that we gave him a couple of opportunities and he grabbed them with both hands,” Clark said.
“Harvey works as hard as anyone I’ve seen and ended up being a rock-solid premiership player and one of our best players on the day.
“He’s one of those kids that just keeps working as hard as he can all the time.”
Clark said Chinn’s skills and decision-making had helped him progress to a state league opportunity.
“He’s not tall in stature but what he does, he tackles well, keeps his eye on the footy all the time so he is brave around the footy but he also has the ability to read it really well,” he said.
“I think what every coach likes about Harvey is that he will play a role for you … he’s keen for feedback all the time, he takes it on board and he keeps seeking out feedback so he can improve constantly.”
Port Melbourne coach Gary Ayres said Chinn’s willingness to grow his game over the pre-season had elevated him above other players vying for a spot on the club’s list.
He noted a shift in pre-season training to Salesian College in Chadstone due to ground refurbishments at Port Melbourne had made it easier for Chinn and other eastern suburbs hopefuls to train with the club.
“Harvey has been fairly consistent in the way he’s trained … he’s been able to impress on us his gut running and two-way running,” Ayres said.
“Once he gets the ball he uses the ball reasonably well and makes reasonably good decisions and he’s just had a really solid and consistent pre-season and we rewarded that with a spot on the list.”
Ayres said Chinn would be in line for VFL games this year.
“I don’t think anyone has any right to say, ‘a player can’t play’ and you don’t want to place any restrictions on how good they can or can’t be,” he said.
“Certainly if anyone understands my philosophy as a coach, it is about giving players an opportunity … we have 45 on our list and last year we played 43 from memory.
“You do know you’re going to be given an opportunity if your form is OK.”