Friendly rivalry spurs Harmon brothers

Grover Harmon (left) and younger brother Lee play in the midfield for Tupapa Maraerenga FC. Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

The Harmon brothers will have to put their video game rivalry aside for a few days as they link up in the midfield for Tupapa Maraerenga FC in the OFC Champions League 2020 Qualifying Stage.

Older brother Grover, 30, and younger sibling Lee, 18, are competitive types and it extends further than playing each other in FIFA on their PlayStation 4.

“We are always competitive,” Grover said. “Sometimes we rock up to the field and see who can hit the top corner of the goal first and whatnot.”

Grover admitted Lee generally had the upper hand on the PlayStation but on the pitch, Grover calls the shots.

The older brother is the chairman of Tupapa and captains the side; he’s also collected 10 caps for the national team since making his debut in 2009.

Tupapa opened the OFC Champions League 2020 Qualifying Stage tournament with a 0-0 draw against Lupe Ole Soaga SC in Auckland on Tuesday.

That result means they only need a draw from their encounter with Tongan club Veitongo FC at the Ngahue Reserve on Friday to grab a spot in the group stages of this year’s Champions League.

“We want to get through the Qualifying Stage,” Grover said. “And the goal really is to get a result at the next stage, it’s a dream for us, so we will see what happens.”

Tupapa have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League for the past two years but have not managed a win.

Registering a result would mean a lot to the Harmons who come from a big football family, their sisters also play for the national women’s team.

The brothers have played football for much of their lives and Lee said he looked up to Grover.

“I’ve learned a lot from playing football since I was small,” Lee said.

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