K rock Football

Coop keen to get cracking

Geelong draftee Cooper Stephens. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

HE hasn’t kicked a ball in anger in nearly eight months, so it’s no surprise Cooper Stephens can’t wait to get stuck into training.

Geelong’s first pick in this year’s National Draft, the 18-year-old hasn’t played at any level since breaking his leg in April.

“I can’t wait to strap on the boots again and get out there and compete,” Stephens said.

“I suppose that was really good to get to (draft) combine.

“I hadn’t competed all year, so to really drive and push for that combine spot was awesome, and it just gave me a chance to prove my worth again.”

CATS: EVANS KEEN TO MOVE ON FROM ‘BOLTER’ TAG

Many draft experts expected Stephens to slide into the 20s as a result of the broken leg, so when the Cats came calling at pick No.16, the Colac export was caught by surprise.

It also caught the AFL off-guard, with the Geelong Falcons co-captain missing an invite to the first round at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday night.

“Geelong didn’t give me any inclination or anything,” he said.

“When I was lucky to get picked at 16, it was surprise and anxiety. It was just a whole lot of emotion. It was just a relief in the end.

“I was just at home with my immediate family — mum, dad and his partner and my two sisters. It was a really nice moment to share with them.”

Twitter: @tom_king79