So I just went back and watched back footage of his game from the weekend again.
Hands down his best of the year after struggling to find the ball and impact the game in his first year. Stoked for him to get a game like this under his belt and it should do him a world of good.
Some things that stood out:
- Sure hands when intercept marking
- Super clean taking possession of the ball under pressure
- Made some seriously good kicks and attacking handballs to get some speed on the ball and open up the play
I wish he used more of his run and carry to break the lines, and mixed it with his long kicking to turn himself into a metres gained beast. I mentioned this in the VFL thread during the game, but he's playing as one of the last 3 defenders for some reason. I'd personally have him on the back flank and give him the license to run, carry and be putting bombs into forward 50 before the defense has a chance to get set. Even if he's not positioning his kicks perfectly in this situation, our goal should be to create stoppages inside forward 50m or goal scoring opportunities. Play Stephenson deep 1-out or a tall up forward with someone like Mahony or Dib at their feet.
There were a few moments where his decision making and execution was average, but the more ball and exposure he gets at this level, he'll be able to improve those things.
Still can't believe we haven't even given him 5 minutes in the middle this year. He is so good in those contested situations. I'd love to see him just get 10 minutes a game in there. Nothing to lose really.