K rock Football

Jack ready to have an impact

Geelong recruit Jack Steven tries on the Hoops for the first time. (Geelong Cats Image/David McPherson)

BACK in familiar surrounds, Geelong recruit Jack Steven is confident he can have an immediate impact at his new club.

The 29-year-old joined the Cats on Tuesday night as part of a trade with St Kilda where he played 183 games and was a four-time best-and-fairest winner.

The Lorne product was limited to just seven matches in 2019 as he battled mental health issues.

However, with a full pre-season under his belt, Steven expects to be ready for Round 1 next year.

“I don’t think my footy dies down that quickly,” he said.

“It’s just my fitness and getting to a happy, healthy state.”

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Steven getting the deal done, in which he was traded for pick No.58, was “touch and go” for a period, with the former Geelong Falcon still contracted to St Kilda.

“I understood there was a process there and if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen,” Steven, who cut short a family holiday to Hawaii, said.

“The Saints are a great club as well, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom. But, I was really happy to come down to the Cats.

“I went to the Saints when I was 17, so it’s all I’ve really known. I owe a lot to them. Like I said yesterday, I’m really thankful and I still love the club.

“But, (I’m) super stoked to be down here.”

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Steven rejected suggestions he would have walked away from the AFL if the deal hadn’t have been done.

However, he admits there were times during the season he contemplated his future in the game.

“I had a few moments there; you obviously have your ups and downs (with mental health),” Steven said.

“I love playing. That’s what I came to at the end of the year, that I still wanted to play.”

Having appeared in just one final – an elimination final loss to Sydney in 2011 – Steven is keen to get a taste of September with the Cats, who have appeared in 14 of the last 16 finals series.

“Why you play footy is to play finals, and, hopefully, win a grand final,” he said.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Twitter: @tom_king79
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