Vic Country football officials have appointed Colac’s Cooper Stephens as co-captain of the state under-18 side despite a fractured leg sidelining him for this year’s national carnival.
Stephens, who is Colac’s top AFL draft prospect this year, fractured the fibula in his leg while playing in the Geelong Falcons’ NAB League clash against Dandenong on Sunday.
Falcons regional manager Michael Turner said the injury would keep Stephens from playing for “about eight to 10 weeks” but was unlikely to hurt his draft chances.
“We know AFL recruiters rate Cooper extremely highly so I don’t think it will affect his chances of getting drafted,” he said.
“I think he’s already built a reputation from the under-16s, and last year with the Falcons as a bottom-aged player and playing Vic Country.”
Turner said former Falcons like Alex Witherden and Colac’s Darcy Lang proved that players could still get drafted despite injuries.