Fables and fairy tales are usually reserved for the likes of eggs, bears and girls dressed in red but you can now add newly-drafted defender Tom Stewart to the list.

The 23-year-old South Barwon product was taken by the Cats at pick 40 in last week’s national draft, having spent a season with Geelong’s VFL side in 2016.

With a host of rival clubs interested, there were no guarantees Stewart would be staying in his hometown at his home club but thankfully fairy tales do come true.

“It’s absolutely surreal,” Stewart told Cats Media.

“I got in this morning to do some testing and training and get around the boys. It still hasn’t sunk in and I suppose it won’t until I get out there with the main group.”

“I just couldn’t be happier.”

Stewart had a stellar 2016 season for the VFL Cats, showcasing a rare ability to know the perfect balance between defence and attack. Week in, week out he would play on the opposition’s best forward as an under-sized defender and limit their influence, all while roaming up the ground to become an offensive weapon himself.

His season was rewarded with runner-up in the VFL Cats’ best and fairest but has ultimately granted him the opportunity to make it at AFL level.

“Being through the VFL system, the boys here are fantastic and they get around you,” Stewart said.

“The divide between the VFL and AFL isn’t even there. It’s awesome to come in and see a few familiar faces. It feels like home.”

Watch the full interview with draftee Tom Stewart via the video player at the top of the page.