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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Koby Stevens

Koby Stevens has been on the Eagles main list for 2 years already, but has been unlucky in terms of injuries and the Eagles dream run in 2011. He is a highly rated youngster who could finally put a full season together in 2012 and reward the punters who pick him up!

Name: Koby Stevens
Club: West Coast
Position: Midfield
Assistant Coach Price: $104,200
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 18
2011 Games Played: 2
Predicted Average: 72

Why should I pick him?

Remember that guy called Luke Shuey? Well, Koby Stevens is so similar in a lot of ways it is a bit ridiculous. Let’s check it out, head-to-head style.

Luke Shuey

vs

Koby Stevens

Pick 18 (Priority, 2008 AFL Draft)

Position Drafted

Pick 23 (2009 AFL Draft)

Victoria

Home State

Victoria

Inside Midfielder

Position

Inside Midfielder

Spent his first two years on the Eagles main list battling a range of injuries (and personal issues), including osteitis pubis, a leg fracture, stress fractures and glandular fever.

Durability

Over his first two years he has battled recurrent knee injuries and, like Shuey, osteitis pubis.

6 games

Games in 1st two years

7 games

Shuey has been destroying pre-season, always one of the leaders in both sprints and long-distance running.

Pre-season

Koby earned an off-season pump-up of his own, putting his name forward for early consideration for games in 2012.

22 games, 83.5 average

3rd year Stats

?

As you can see, a lot of similarities there…. And we all know how good Shuey was in his first fully-fit year at AFL level. Also, Koby is highly rated by all of the media, club and public, in very similar fashion to how Luke was revered before he even put together a whole season. Anyway, I think I’ve talked up the resemblance enough.

The best bit about Stevens is that he comes at rookie price ($104,200) due to his measly 18 average from only 2 games last year! Not that it’s a worry though – he was green vested in both of the games, only coming onto the field in the fourth quarter on both occasions. Looking through his WAFL stats, however, shows he can score well, averaging 87.4 DT points over 19 games despite niggling knee concerns.

Another positive about Stevens (and why he could be highly successful this year) is the fact that he is basically a mature-age recruit. At his price, coupled with his ability and developed body, we have to think of him in the same breath as the Horsleys, Zorkos and Saads of this year’s crop.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Durability is the big thing here. He actually put together a lot of games last year however, with 19 at WAFL level and 2 for the Eagles. But he was still troubled by his bung knee for a fair chunk of that time, so the big question is; can he stay fit? Shuey did it, can Koby?

The other obvious concern is his job security. Many of the Eagles faithful rate Stevens easily in West Coast’s best 22, but he hasn’t put enough runs on the board yet for us to feel any significant amount of confidence. He will probably fight for spots with Masten, Swift, Gaff and McGinnity over the course of the pre-season, but if he does well, look for Worsfold to give him a chance like he did for Gaff and Darling early in 2011. And there’s always the worry that once he earns his spot, he’ll be a common choice for the sub.

Deck of DT Rating:

JACK. As I said earlier, we have to think of Koby as a mature-age recruit here – he’s bigger and stronger than other rookie-priced options, so that has to count for something. And given his similarities with Shuey, his third year in the system could be when he goes bang!

At the stage, the coaching staff at Tbetta Than You have flagged him as one to keep a close eye on over the course of the nab cup. Remember, he only has to average around 70 to be considered a great rookie pick-up, so keep him on your radar!

 

Catch me on Twitter: @tbetta9

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