Rovers new boy to beef up

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Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce is planning to put new signing Elrio van Heerden on a strict fitness regime.

Allardyce has no doubts about the South African midfielder's quality, just his ability at the moment to cope with the physical demands of the Barclays Premier League.

Van Heerden, 25, has secured a two-year deal at Ewood Park after arriving on a free transfer from Club Brugge, and Allardyce told Rovers' official website: "We need to build him up as he is not the biggest of lads, then I am sure he will make an impact as the season progresses."

He added: "We have signed a very talented young man. He is a great addition to the squad. He has lots of pace, lots of ability and can play wide right and left.

"He's had a couple of injuries, which have been hiding his talents but we have monitored him over the last few months."

Allardyce was looking to boost his midfield options with Aaron Mokoena joining Portsmouth and Tugay retiring.

Van Heerden is looking forward to a new challenge in England, and told South Africa's Independent newspaper: "It's a great move for me after what has been a less than memorable experience the past year.

"The supporters were fantastic to me. They even handed in a 2,000-signature petition a month ago to the management of the club for me to stay but it was better to move on.

"Blackburn opens up the biggest chapter in my career and I will try repay them for showing faith in me by playing my best football.

"I have no doubt that I am joining a club which will once again be on the rise."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Aaron Mokoena

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