True Blood: The Jake Stevens Interview

Jake ‘Cobba’ Stevens loves life and footy. He reflects on how he became a Swans fan, his world travels and how he’d like to study journalism in an interview with Phil Dimitriadis.

PD: Hi Jake and welcome to the Junior Footy Almanac. First questions: Why do you love footy and how did you become a Swans fan?

JS:  Hi Phil, thanks for having me. I’ve always loved footy since I was young, and grown up with it my whole life. There’s no other game like it on earth.  It’s so spectacular, so dramatic and so much fun. Dad and all his family were old South Melbourne supporters, and were absolutely devastated when they decided to move north. But nothing could stop them supporting the swans, and so from a very early age I was always taught to cheer for the red and white, just as Dad and Grandad and his dad had back in those early days.

PD: So the historic link to old South is strong. Did you go to the old Lakeside Oval to celebrate the 2005 flag? What do you remember about that premiership win?

JS: Yes! I most certainly did. I was lucky enough to have tickets to the 2005 grand final, and it was probably one of the most exciting and happiest times of my life. I can’t really describe how amazing it was when Leo Barry took that mark. The crowd was so loud; I never got to hear the siren. So much emotion around the ground, especially seeing the old players like Bob Skilton and Paul Kelly celebrate too. The whole day as an event was something I’ll never forget. We travelled to a bar in South Melbourne, called the Rising Sun hotel, just nearby Lake Oval, and there we all celebrated through the night, singing the song over and over. It was a very special moment. From then on, I’ve always considered myself a ‘Swans’ supporter, rather than a ‘Sydney’ supporter.

PD: Sounds like an incredible experience that you’ll be sharing with your grandkids one day! Tell me where are you living now and what year level are you in?

JS: Definitely! I live right near the beach in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in Australia, and everything is relatively close by. I love it. I am currently in year 12 at Padua College in Mornington.

PD: Mt Martha has some beautiful beaches and character. How is VCE going and what would you like to do when you finish year 12?

JS: Yeah VCE is alright. I guess it is everything I expected. It’s hard work, but still fun being at school. After year 12 I hope to be able to study Sports Journalism at La Trobe University. But if I don’t get the right ATAR score I’d love to be able to complete a Media and Communications course at any number of universities.

PD: While we’re on the subject of writing and journalism, how did you find out about the Footy Almanac?

JS: In 2010 I found the Footy Almanac on a bookshelf in a book store in Mornington, and started to read. I was glad to find that I could write for the book and website myself. So I got started from there, and writing about what I love.

PD: Terrific. Tell me about your nickname ‘Cobba’?

JS: It stems from my full name Ja’cob’, and has been a nickname for me since I was young. I think it’s a great name because it is undoubtedly Australian, something I’m very proud of. It is an old term for ‘mate’, something that I think reflects my friendly personality, and respect for tradition. And it is spelt ‘Cobba’ with an ‘a’ because it is a little different and represents the future and a young modern Australia. Oh, and also it sounds cool. Hahaha, so you see there’s actually a fair bit to it.

PD: That’s one of the better reasons for a nickname that I’ve heard. Good stuff. Can you tell us who some of your favourite players are and why?

JS: My favourite or the best player I ever saw was Brett Kirk. I am lucky enough to meet him a couple of times and he was so humble. His courage, spirit and downright determination was probably what won the Swans the 2005 flag. I try and model my game on his. Being hard at the footy and running all day even though I’m not the most skilful player.

PD: Super choice, although I wonder what planet he’s on sometimes on C7. Maybe he’s just too evolved for some of us. Who do you play footy for and what is your preferred position?

JS: I play footy for Mornington under 18s. I played my entire junior footy for Mt Martha JFC but then moved to the senior side in Mornington. Last year I played in the colts’ side and lost the grand final. I play on the wing and I love it because I get to run all day, which is definitely my greatest asset. I also consider myself a pretty good tackler, which is strange because I’m probably the smallest bloke on the team!

PD: Your enthusiasm for the game really shines through and that is a great example for young and old Almanackers. Who are some of your favourite writers/journalists and what advice would you give to aspiring young writers?

JS: I really like writers likes Jon Ralph and Paul Roos who are really respected in the media, but also those who look on the lighter side of footy such as Garry Lyon and Andrew Maher. I would just encourage absolutely anyone to have a go write about their passion. Everybody online is really supportive and your first few pieces don’t have to be perfect, learn along the way. I’d also say that you’d be surprised at how easy it is. I don’t absolutely love English, but writing an article for the almanac is so much better, and way more fun.

PD: You’ve just written a wonderful photographic article about your travels through India and Sri Lanka. What other countries would you like to visit and why?

JS: Yeah I’ve been lucky enough to travel around in other places like Thailand, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA and travel and new experiences is something I really love. If I had to choose anywhere to travel, it would probably be somewhere in South America, maybe Venezuela or Brazil. Everything looks so beautiful and natural. It’s probably one of the most foreign places on earth and it would be easy to get lost and out of my comfort zone. That’s what I love about travel.

PD:  Do you have a memorable line from a movie or song lyrics that you’d like to share? Also, preferred apps and thoughts about the rest of the 2012 season?

JS: Hahaha probably ‘I Love Lamp’ from Anchorman. So funny. I love a good laugh.

Song lyrics would be “What would you leave behind when you’re no longer there?” In ‘No Longer There’ by The Cat Empire.  A pretty motivational message to live life to the fullest.
Preferred apps would be the classic ‘Angry Birds’. Simple games never get old.
And for the 2012 season, I think Collingwood and Geelong will stage a major fight back in the second half of the year. And Swans will sneak into the top 4 and Lewis Jetta will kick goal of the year.

PD: Cobba, it’s been a pleasure talking to you mate. Best of luck in the future and look forward to reading many more of your stories.

JS: Thanks a lot Phil. And the entire Footy Almanac community for putting so much effort into supporting young writers and the game we love.


  1. Lord Bogan says

    Cobba, I love the fact that you are a seasoned traveller and that you have such meaningful and historical ties with the Swans. Keep sending in the stories and always believe in yourself.

  2. Jake "Cobba" Stevens says

    Thanks PD. Footy is very special for me, and I’m just glad I have this great place to share my views. Thanks for the encouragement haha! :)

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