WHEN dashing defender and newly drafted Cat Nick Stevens arrives at GMHBA Stadium next week, it won’t be his first visit.

Stevens spent a week at the club in late 2019 as a part of the AIS-AFL Academy program.

The GWV Rebel took part in the club’s preseason sessions, alongside fellow draftees and Geelong Falcons duo Oliver Henry (pick 17 – Collingwood) and Tanner Bruhn (pick 12 – GWS Giants).

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At 192cm and 84kgs, Geelong and its Talent ID Manager Troy Selwood are excited with the versatility Stevens has to offer.

“We know Nick really well after spending a bit of time with him at Geelong Grammar over the last couple of years,” he says.

“He’s a good athlete, nice size and a versatile player that can play across half back and through the midfield and he’s another kid who works really hard on his game.

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“He kicks the ball a very long way and has got great penetration with his kicking so can hit the last line when going forward.”

“He’s a very competitive kid as well, so give him a job on a dangerous forward whether it be tall or small, Nick really thrives in that contest.”

The Cats had the option to pass on its third selection and hold its last list spot for an open audition for undrafted players over the preseason, but couldn’t resist the chance to land Stevens.

“He was a player we were hoping might have slipped through to our pick,” Selwood says.

“At the time we weren’t too sure whether we’d take that third pick, but when a player like Nick is still there, we thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”