A PRE-SEASON with the Greater Western Victoria Rebels is the perfect opportunity for Archie Stevens to get "the best out of myself".
The South Warrnambool midfielder-forward kick-started his preparations for 2020 at the NAB League club's Hampden region under 16 and under 18 squads' first session on Wednesday night.
Stevens, who is part of the under 18 pre-season squad, said his goal for the summer was to be committed to improving himself and his chances of making the Rebels' final list.
"It's about continuing to become a better player and obviously in this system as a bottom-ager hopefully making the Rebels' list," the 16-year-old said.
"Playing with them throughout next year is definitely the goal."
The Emmanuel College student said his first season of senior football with South Warrnambool, where he played 13 games under coach Mat Battistello, had given him a boost.
"I took real confidence out of it and I really enjoyed the challenge," the right-footer said. "Hopefully I can continue to build on that."
Stevens said it was comforting to have familiar faces in Battistello and Roosters' under 18 coach Tait Niddrie helping with the Rebels' pre-season but also embraced advice from the program's other coaches.
"I know they have faith in me so it's good for them to be here (helping out)," he said.
"But also other coaches who give me a different voice and telling me what I can do. It's good to have both."
The Rebels' 40-player under 18 pre-season squad gives Stevens a closer look at some of the most promising footballers in the region.
"It's really good to see how you stack up against other talent from other areas rather than just your club," he said.
"It's good to be able to get among the boys and continue to improve. Some of the top-agers like Clem Nagorcka, who has played senior footy for Koroit so that is a good challenge.
"Even at my own club someone like Marcus Herbert. He is a really good player and it will be really good to be around him for my development."
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