Cats star Patrick Dangerfield has flagged the possibility of draftee Cooper Stephens making his AFL debut this season.
Dangerfield said Stephens was the most “ready-made” player taken from last year’s draft.
Stephens was one of two draftees to feature in last night’s joint training session with Collingwood, with mature-aged recruit Brad Close also having a run against the Magpies.
“We had a good look at Cooper Stephens yesterday,” said Dangerfield.
“He was our first pick in last year’s draft so he’s probably the most ready-made player to go."
The 188cm Geelong Falcons product spent time in Geelong’s midfield, often lining up against experienced duo Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom.
“He’s solidly built, he missed most of last year with injury but I dare say he’ll feature in some early community series footy and then hopefully for him he’ll get an opportunity to play AFL footy as well.”
Stephens suffered a leg fracture that caused him to miss the majority of last year’s NAB League, however the 19-year-old returned to full fitness just in time for the draft combine in October.
Dangerfield said the Cats’ second round pick, 200cm Sam De Koning, was progressing well but is slightly further back in his development.
“Sam De Koning is lightly built so he’s going to take some time to develop but we’re really positive with the signs he’s been showing so far.
29-year-old Dangerfield will also be putting his hand up for selection in the upcoming Marsh Series with Geelong taking on the Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium next Saturday.
“Yeah, that’s the plan.
“We’ll probably play our full list given just how hot it is up there at the moment.
“So we’ll expose a few younger players in that game as well and try a few different things out.”