Two of Albury's rising stars have hailed the influence of senior Tigers in helping them hit the ground running at Ovens and Murray level.
Jacob Conlan, 22, and brother Lucas, 20, relocated from Griffith in 2019 after deciding to test themselves at a higher level of footy and although COVID meant the pair had to wait 16 months to make their debut, the wait was worth it.
"It's one of the best country footy teams I've seen and played with, the quality we've got with ex-AFL players and what not," Jacob said.
"Both of the coaches (Anthony Miles and Luke Daly) have helped us out heaps and then you've got someone like Jeff Garlett.
"I hang out with him a fair bit and he's pretty good for us. Having him play in the forward pocket, next to me, is always handy.
"Daniel Cross has given us gym programs and helped with rehab so he's been another one that's been really good with all his expertise and experience in the AFL."
Jacob's moved before, to play for Canberra Demons, but this has been a new experience for Lucas.
"It's good to have him here to help me out," Lucas said.
"We fight a little bit over the dishes but he usually has the final say because most of the stuff is his!
"The club has been unreal. I felt pretty comfortable straight away just because of the support the footy club gives us.
"Dean Polo and Shaun Daly have definitely been a big help, encouraging me to play the way I like to play and not to put too much pressure on myself.
"The level of footy's certainly a lot better than the RFL, it's another step up.
"Everyone runs out four quarters and the intensity's so much higher."
Jacob admits Lucas makes a better team-mate than a house-mate.
"Living together is a battle at times but we get through it," he laughed.
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"We do play footy the same way, which always helps.
"We had a bit of a connection on the field back in Griffith, both being forwards but I don't get to see him as much when he's down at full-back this year.
"But he's been going alright, which is good."
Jacob kicked 44 goals in 12 games, sharing the Doug Strang medal with Wangaratta's Michael Newton, while Lucas looked equally at home, playing in 11 of Albury's 13 straight wins en route to the minor premiership.
"Having those blokes in the midfield kicking to me makes my job a fair bit easier but it is always nice to finish off and kick a few goals," Jacob said.
"It's a very family-orientated sort of club. You can talk to anyone, whether you play reserves or first grade.
"Everyone gets along really well and it's been good, coming from another club, to walk into that sort of environment."
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