By Joseph Marciano
Emerging Norwood talent Dylan Stephens has made an encouraging start to his Norwood career, eyeing Premiership success in 2019.
The Redlegs recorded back to back wins for the first time since Round nine, thumping reigning Premiers North Adelaide by 71-points a fortnight ago.
Stephens said he believes the morale of the group is high after defeating both South and North respectively.
“Since being able to string those last couple of wins together, the morale of the group is high with a finals spot the ultimate goal,” said Stephens.
“As a group, we’ve spoken about last year and how Norwood was the best team for the majority of the year, however, weren’t able to get it done in the finals.
“We had a rough couple of weeks in the middle of the season, however, we know that if you can perform at the right time of the year then that’s all that matters.
“As a group, we seem to be playing with a lot more confidence, but we need to make sure we maintain this and are desperate to secure the points on offer in the next three weeks.”
After a week off, Norwood travels to Unley this weekend to face an in-form Sturt on their home deck.
The Legs were victorious in the sides first meeting in Round Three, however, Stephens knows the tempo is going to be high with Sturt playing a real contested style of football.
“As a playing group we know it’s definitely going to be a hard-fought battle,” Stephens said.
“The pressure of the game is going to be high, but it’s making sure we get a good start early and adjust to the tempo as soon as possible.
“We need to make sure we play to our strengths and if we do that, we know have the ability to beat absolutely anyone.”
Since returning to Norwood after State Under 18 duties, Stephens has been a breath of fresh air with his ability to play a variety of roles under Jarrod Cotton.
“My role in the team has basically been in a half-forward/midfield role – more so midfield – because Cotts thinks that I’ve got potential and my running ability is one of my strengths.
“Early on, I was mainly an outside midfielder, so I played as a permanent half-forward and pushed up onto the wing a few games.
“At the moment Cotts (Jarrod Cotton) has me playing 50/50 between midfield and forward which I am really enjoying.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve really found my feet, being able to get my hands on it a little bit more inside, laying tackles and doing my bit for the team where they need me.”