When he was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NLL Draft, Greg Harnett had the pleasure of doing something very few professional athletes get to do — play alongside his older brother.
They’ve played side by side for the past six years, holding down the left side of the Roughnecks defence. Greg has accumulated 26 points (8g, 16a) and 222 loose balls in 83 career games. The younger Harnett has suited up for just six games in 2017 as he has missed six games due to a pair of suspensions.
We spoke with Harnett about his most recent suspension, his older brother and more.
On his suspension:
“It was really tough. Any time you’re out of the line-up, whether it’s due to injury, suspension, or just maybe your name isn’t called for that game, it’s really tough. Especially since the guys are struggling. They were close in some of those games, but it’s really tough. I want t play in every game and help the boys, but when you’re not, you feel helpless.
On getting back into the line-up:
“I had a bunch of family in Toronto, so it made my return a bit more special being able to play in front of family and friends.”
On his crazy goal in Toronto:
“I don’t know. I saw an opportunity to go to the net. I’ve played against Rosey a bit and there’s not much room to shoot, but there’s a little spot above his stick that I could go for and I got lucky, for sure.”
On his most memorable goal:
“Last year I had a couple game winners that were big for the team. Maybe my first career goal vs. Edmonton. It was actually similar to the one in Toronto where I just picked up a loose ball, did a weird crease jump, and shot it five-hole. I’d say my first one against Aaron Bold since I don’t score too many.”
On needing a pair of wins this weekend:
“We’ve got to prepare to go to war here. We’re in desperation mode. We need to start getting some wins. It’s going to be tough, we already know that. I know the guys are going to be willing to do whatever it takes to win. It’s going to be a battle and at the end of that game, we’re going to know as a team that we went out and got together and battled to get those two points.”
“Saturday, it’s not going to be an easy one either. New England is a really good team. Both games we’re just going to give it our all and leave it all on the floor.”
On Tracey Kelusky:
“I did watch him quite a bit growing up, he’s a great player. I did get to play against him actually, when he was in Philadelphia.It might have been his last year or second-last year. He’s a righty and I’m a lefty d-guy, so I got to D him up a bit. I gave him a slash and just the look he gave me, I knew I wasn’t doing that again.The eyes of the devil looking at me. He coached against me in Peterborough. He’s a pretty amazing player, he’s fun to watch, he’s ultra-talented and he had a lot of chemistry on that Calgary team with Toth, Sanderson, and all those guys. They had a great team.”
On his older brother’s influence in lacrosse:
“It’s big. I remember from the age of 7 and up, playing backyard lacrosse. I kind of followed in his footsteps, he played lacrosse first and I always wanted to be like him. He was a great lacrosse player growing up and I always wanted to be like him. He was a huge influence on me to help me develop my game at a young age. He still does to this day.”
On his chemistry with Jon:
“We’ve played together since 2007, so when we’re out there, there’s a bit more chemistry. With the other guys, we have systems and everyone knows what we’re doing and everyone is good at talking. It’s a bit different, there’s more chemistry with Jon, but I enjoy playing with anyone on our team.”
On his favourite player as a kid:
“Growing up in Orangeville, I was a huge Phil Sanderson fan. He was there when I was really young and I remember being a huge fan of his. He’s defensive player, but at that age, I was trying to be more offensive. I just always looked up to him and he was my favourite player growing up.”
On his stick set up:
“I have a pretty high pocket. I have Corey Small from the Vancouver Stealth – we’re good buddies, we play together in the summer — to string my sticks. He strings my sticks because he’s a wizard at it. It’s a nice high pocket, a little ball depth, and it’s just a smooth release so if I get those chances maybe I can go top corner. I figured that he’s such a good shooter that why not get a guy like that to string your stick.”