Canberra recruit Jordan Harper says he left the VFL because he needed a "fresh start" to reinvigorate his love for the game.
The midfielder, formerly a co-captain with Canberra in 2017, announced his decision to re-sign with the Demons' on Tuesday morning following one-and-a-half seasons with North Melbourne in the VFL.
"I think for me it was a culmination of things, obviously opportunity, supporting family back home, and really getting back to why I play in the first place which was to enjoy the game," the 25-year-old said.
"At stages over the last fifteen months I was losing my love for the game and with serious injury and a lack of form I suffered mentally and found myself questioning why I was even playing at all.
"For me this is about more than just kicks and handballs it’s a fresh start, a new beginning and mending that relationship with football again."
No stranger to starting from scratch, Harper says he's optimistic ahead of his return to the NEAFL against the NT Thunder tomorrow night.
"I'm feeling really optimistic about tomorrow night and the rest of the season, I'm just really excited to get to contribute and enjoy my football again at such a family oriented club that looks after its people first and foremost.
"I'm very grateful for the time I had at North, the things I learnt and the experience I gained is something I’ll hold close, I’ve got some very close mates at that club so it was a very difficult decision to make.
"I’d like to thank them for all their efforts in helping me improve but the time was right to move on and be a valuable contributor somewhere else."
Canberra General Manager of Football, Shaun Young, said the club was thrilled to have Harper back.
“To have a person and player of Jordan’s calibre come back to the club at this stage of the season is extremely exciting, and one that we are ecstatic with as we build towards the middle to back half of the year,” he told www.neafl.com.au.
“Jordan will not only bring his pure football ability to the group, but also his leadership qualities and football knowledge which we have no doubt will add value to our aspirations for season 2019.
“We are not expecting Jordan to be the sole player that we rely on in terms of winning games, it is still going to take our whole playing group to achieve what we set out to do at the start of the season.
“Having Jordan return to the club not only says a lot about how strongly Jordan feels about the club, but also how strongly the club feels about Jordan.”