Tough Stevens the perfect Dog

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 24 Oktober 2012 | 14.43

Midfielder Koby Stevens' tough style will perfectly suit the Western Bulldogs. Picture: Daniel Wilkins. Source: PerthNow

THE football world doesn't know much about Koby Stevens yet, but his TAC Cup club says the Western Bulldogs have just acquired a tough and fearless midfield wrecking ball on the cheap.

Stevens was today traded to the Dogs for pick 44 after being starved of AFL opportunities in his three years at West Coast.

The 187cm, 83kg inside midfielder played just 11 games despite blistering form in the WAFL and is expected to take little time fitting into Dogs coach Brendan McCartney's side.

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"He'll be a sensational player. He was one of the toughest, hardest players to go through this program," Gippsland Power region manager Peter Francis said today.

"He was probably averaging around the 35-40-possession mark in the WAFL every week.

"He's strong overhead, he can play back, through the midfield or go forward and he's been one of our better tacklers too.

"So he's got versatility and he's just such a good contested player."

Francis said Stevens was a "tackling machine" – much like Power graduate and the Dogs first-round pick last year, Clay Smith.

"He's as hard as a cat's head, much like Clay Smith, and they'll make a great combination too – both are from Bairnsdale and their dads work at Patties Pies together.

Dogs seal Stevens deal

"It's ironic they're now both at the Dogs. 'Kobes' is perfectly suited to Brendan McCartney."

Francis said it was always going to be tough for Stevens to crack West Coast's star-studded midfield, headed by Daniel Kerr, Matthew Priddis, Scott Selwood, Andrew Gaff, Chris Masten and Luke Shuey.

"He's a really contested player, there's no doubt about that. It's what he's built his game around."

The Dogs also secured father-son prodigy Lachie Hunter in the trade period, at the bargain price of pick 50.

Stevens caps an impressive off-season at Whitten Oval, with the Dogs also able to improve their draft order after moving on veteran full-back Brian Lake, who did not fit their list profile.

"His big, strong body along with a terrific attitude to his football make him a great acquisition," Dogs list manager Jason McCartney said.

Stevens captained the AIS-AFL team before being jagged by the Eagles with pick 23 in the 2009 draft.

Stevens joins Smith, Tom Liberatore and Mitch Wallis as young, inside midfielders in the contested mould McCartney craves.

The new recruit played 48 games in the WAFL, amassing 997 disposals.  He laid 83 tackles from 19 games in 2010 and became more attacking this season, booting 11.12 from 15 matches.

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