Hawthorn has expressed an interest in young Geelong midfielder Cooper Stephens as we approach the AFL trade deadline.
Cooper Stephens : Wiki | Geelong | Trade news | Age
Medium midfielder who is strong in the contest and is an outstanding contested ball winner.
He uses the ball particularly well by foot and started the season in excellent form, averaging 25 disposals in the first two games before fracturing his leg in the third match and missing the rest of the season.
He showed strong form in his 17th year representing Australia at Under-17 level against New Zealand.
Cooper stephens played for Vic Country in the 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships where his decision-making and composure were key components of his game.
Cooper stephens wiki
A FIRST round prospect coming into the year, Geelong Falcons’ co-captain Cooper Stephens’ season ended very early after going down with a fractured fibula in Round 3 of the NAB League Boys season.
|Height||188 cm (6′ 2″)|
|Date of Birth||17/01/2001 (21 years old)|
It ruined his chance at playing for Vic Country at the Under-18 Championships, and despite hopes he would get back for the end of the season for the Falcons, was ruled out as not worth the risk.
From his bottom-age year, he has quite a number of favourable traits but most of all is his attack on the ball, consistency and work rate.
Having been out for such a long time, Stephens will need to rebuild his match fitness again, though his endurance is elite, showing off his gut-running ability with a 21.8 yo-yo test to finish equal first overall at the National Draft Combine.
And then within the game work on his impact on the spread with low numbers of marks and inside 50s compared to other midfielders, with his best work done on the inside.
Given Stephens’ lack of games, it is hard to see how much he has developed from his bottom-age year with just the two full games which saw him average 25 disposals and kicking at 66 per cent efficiency with 59 per cent contested possession rate. It is not a surprise to see those numbers as Stephens generally uses it pretty well with the exception being when moving at speed.
Sometimes Stephens can overcook the handball or kick, just putting it out in front of teammates to run onto, which is advantageous in terms of retaining possession, but ideally the next improvement is hitting the target directly.
He can be a powerful kick, but he also just as damaging with his hands in close to feed out to midfielders, making right decisions with ball-in-hand.
Stephens is at his best at the coal face, going down and picking up the ball to fire out quick handballs to a teammate running by, and he just manages to find space in close to do so.
At 188cm and 83kg at the start of the year, and a season to build up even more during rehab, Stephens is readymade to play a role at AFL level.
The 21-year-old may have to wait for other trades to be done before a move to the Hawks can take place.
Geelong youngster Cooper Stephens might be made to wait until close to the trade deadline before finding out if a swap can be orchestrated to send him to Hawthorn.
The Cats are reportedly waiting for other dominoes to fall before focusing their attention on the 21-year-old, with a plethora of other trades set to go to the wire before the AFL trade period wraps up at 7:30 pm (AEDT) tonight.
Collingwood forward Ollie Henry’s move to Kardinia Park looms as a nail-biter, with neither party seemingly willing to budge amid speculation that he might walk to the pre-season draft if compromise can’t be struck.
Further complicating Stephens’s move is the fact there is still uncertainty surrounding the futures of Hawks duo Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell.
As of 2022, Cooper stephens is 21 years old.