COOPER Stephens has continued the recent flurry of re-signings for the Carlton Reserves heading into 2022. 

After a strong opening campaign which saw him win the VFL team’s Coaches Award, Stephens will be back at the Blues next season where he’ll look to continue his strong form. 

Throughout the disrupted season, Stephens was always a consistent performer for the side, demonstrating his willingness to play a number of roles and produce more often than not. 

The 22-year-old seemed to only be getting better each week, with his best outing coming in the last game before the season was cut short: he collected 17 disposals, six marks and one goal against Sandringham. 

A former premiership captain for the Geelong Falcons under now Reserves coach Daniel O’Keefe, Stephens is an emerging leader as well as a regular presence for the Blues. 

O’Keefe was excited to see Stephens back in Navy Blue for 2022, providing his dash and courage across half back. 

“The coaching staff as a whole really liked what we saw from Cooper on and off the field last season: the award at our best and fairest speaks for itself,” O’Keefe said.

“I’ve seen Cooper first-hand for a number of years now and I can’t wait to see what he will bring to the team next year and to watch him continue his development. 

“After closing out the season in such a strong fashion before it was called off, we see Cooper really taking his game to the next level in 2022.”