Three course meal to fill the hungriest Pie – Collingwood has a new marvel

Could this new Pie mimic young superstar of 1996, Ben Cousins?



Jaidyn Stephenson has been electric in his first season for the Pies. Touted as a potential number one draft pick, Stephenson moved down the order after clubs became aware of his rare heart ailment after the draft combine. Collingwood took a punt on the 189cm, 75kg forward at pick 6 and it has paid off extremely well for both Stephenson and the Pies as they race to the finals. Stephenson has been playing as the Pies third tall forward and has kicked 24 goals from 14 matches, three more than superstar Buddy Franklin kicked in his first season back in 2005.



Collingwood Coach Nathan Buckley has been immensely impressed by Stephenson’s two way running and loves the energy, intensity and scoreboard impact he is bringing to the powerful Pies forward line.



Now favoured at $1.90 to win the NAB Rising Star, it is fitting Stephenson might follow in Buckley’s footsteps, who won the then named Norwich Rising Star in 1993 award averaging 23 disposals and a goal across his 20 games for the Brisbane Bears who only won four for the season (imagine if he stayed in Brisbane…).



Collingwood’s Stephenson has already been compared to a young Lance Franklin after 14 games. I’ve done some digging and have found an eye-opening comparison between Stephenson’s current season and Brownlow Medallist Ben Cousins’ debut season in 1996 for the Eagles. Whilst still at school, Cousins was drafted under the father-son rule in 1995 by the Eagles; he was eligible because his father Bryan played 240 games for West Perth and won a Sandover Medal. Debuting at only 17, Cousins played 20 games as a high half-forward kicking 34 goals at an average of 1.7 and finished with 276 disposals at 13.8 and 61 marks at an average of 3.



Jaidyn Stephenson (2018) Ben Cousins (1996)
Games 14 (10-0-4) 20 (15-0-5)
Goals 24 (1.71) 34 (1.70)
Kicks 105 (7.50) 170 (8.50)
Marks 51 (3.64) 61 (3.05)
Handballs 70 (5.00) 106 (5.30)
Disposals 175 (12.50) 276 (13.80)



Like Cousins, Stephenson is currently averaging 12.5 disposals, 3.6 marks and 1.7 goals. Cousins earned All-Australian honours at only 20 in 1998 and became a superstar midfield with a tank to run all day, an explosive first 20m to break out of packs and unparalleled skills by hand or foot.



Stephenson after only 14 games has shown he is an instinctive player with line-breaking speed and a long kick. Regarded by Eastern Rangers talent manager Len Villani as “not just your meat and potatoes type of footballer…he’s your three-course meal”, it is hard not to salivate when thinking of how far he might go, the Pies haven’t seen a youngster tear it up like this since Peter Daicos. If he wins the NAB Rising Star Award, it’ll be interesting to see if Buckley keeps him up forward or lets him loose in the midfield, I will be watching with an eagle eye.



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About Sam Harvey

To celebrate the stars, skills, stats and stories of the past that have been long forgotten. ‘Bell at a GOAT’ is inspired by my Papa’s great skill at butchering the English language. We believe he was trying to say bull at a gate!


  1. george smith says

    Looks like we will finally win a Rising Star award after all these years. Magpies should be wary of awards because the one that really counts has been snatched away from us so many times it’s not funny.

    In spite of losing our two best players in 2 weeks we are still in it, so keep at it ‘Pies. A giant banana skin called Essendon looms. I am going down to see it among other things so here is hoping the desperate Dons don’t ruin my weekend…

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