Rochester harp on about new signings

By Brayden May

ROCHESTER'S senior football side wants to be competing with the best teams in the Goulburn Valley League and their latest signings could allow them to do so according to new coach Steven Stroobants.

The Tigers last week announced the signings of Harper brothers Jordan and Lachie from Victorian Amateur Football Club side Collegians following the return of Dillon Williams from Eaglehawk.

And Stroobants believes their arrivals immediately make Rochy a better side on paper.

"We identified we needed A grade talent and I think we've got that in both of these guys," he said.

"It's no secret we want to be playing late in the season against Echuca and Kyabram and to do that we need quality footballers.

"To get Jordan and Lachie as a package deal is really exciting for the footy club and we can't wait to see them in the yellow and black."

In the past several years, Jordan has spent time with NEAFL side Canberra and North Melbourne's VFL team.

With the Demons, the midfielder won two best and fairest, earned two NEAFL team of the year selections and finished second in the competition's MVP voting.

"There's no doubting Jordan has a lot of talent," Stroobants said.

"He's a work horse in the middle of the ground, who will thrive on contested ball. But most importantly he has excellent skills which is almost the cherry on top.

"I think he will cause a few headaches for opposition sides during the year."

Where his brother Lachie plays just remains to be seen, having displayed great versatility during his time in the VAFA.

Although he has also spent time in the NEAFL with Canberra, having also formed part of GWS' Academy several years ago.

"You always want guys to be able to play all over the ground," Stroobants said.

"Lachie will be a good addition for us as a club, because depending on how the game is going he could be a match winner at either end.

"I'm really excited about what he could produce."

The Harpers' arrival at the Tigers adds to the ever growing number of families at the club and Stroobants said it was key in his side's culture.

"Having family connections in a small town helps to keep the club alive," he said.

"Given Jordan and Lachie have played a high level of footy, they'll be key in developing several of our younger guys.

"All of our boys are only going to get better by playing with guys who have played against AFL level talent.

"Having them caps off the great leaders we already have in the playing group."