Three-time All-Australian Nick Dal Santo has lauded the impact Collingwood’s Jaidyn Stephenson has made in his first month in the AFL, and says clubs are yearning to regain the power when signing youngsters to long-term contracts.
SEN Time On host Sam McClure reported in The Age today that Stephenson is set to sign a two-year extension with the Magpies, after earning the Round 4 rising star nomination.
The 19-year-old booted five goals in Collingwood’s shock 48-point win over Adelaide last Friday, and Dal Santo says you can expect more of the same.
“Stephenson is a very talented young man,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“I think the upside and the versatility of the positions on the ground that he can play, he is tall enough, quick enough to be half forward, midfielder or half back.
“I like the way he goes about it. He is a very humble man, he has a bit of cheek about him as well which I like, and I think he will be a fantastic player.”
If Stephenson, as expected, commits to the Pies, it means eight of the top 11 selections in last year’s national draft would have already secured extensions.
In an era of increased player movement, Dal Santo believes clubs are seeking to improve control over their list.
“It gives them the power again,” he said.
“If they lock a player in, we know how fickle contracts can be at times, but if they are contracted, the club ultimately has the power to do what they want from there.”
St Kilda’s Nick Coffield and Hunter Clark, along with Fremantle’s Adam Cerra, are the three youngsters of the top 11 who are yet to ink a new deal.