ARCHIE Stevens is determined to "keep producing" after a career-best performance at VFL level.
The Hampden league footballer - one of South Warrnambool's most consistent in season 2022 - earned a state league call-up on Saturday night, kicking three goals from 19 disposals in an inspired effort for Carlton.
It was Stevens' fifth game for the Blues in his debut season.
"I always have self-belief but when you can back it up through performances like that it certainly holds me in good stead," he told The Standard.
Stevens believes his versatility as a player - he was brought into the Carlton program as a small defender and plays midfield for South Warrnambool - will boost his chances of earning a game for the Dan O'Keefe-coached Blues.
He was flung into a forward line role against the Giants.
"At South I play in the midfield and have been able to hit the scoreboard a little bit this year, so I think they (Carlton) wanted to see how I'd go in a different role," he said.
"Since the last game I played (in round 12) it had been a bit of an absence so I wanted to play well (in round 18) and I was happy I was able to contribute to the win in some way."
Stevens, who was "given a licence to create", kicked his first VFL goal on his way to an equal-game high alongside teammate Jesse Glass-McCasker.
"It was funny - my first one was a set shot right in front of where my family was sitting," he said.
"It was out on the boundary and everyone who knows me would've said I couldn't make the distance but they were all telling me to have a shot.
"I had a ping and got it, so that was awesome, the first goal at the level, and the second one just fell into my arms a little bit.
"They missed a kick inside and I pounced on it which was a good feeling as well, kicking two in a quarter, and the last one was probably the hardest one, running out towards the boundary and I just kicked it around my body and it went through."
Carlton, which sits fourth on a 21-team ladder with a 10-5 win-loss record, plays second-bottom side Williamstown on Saturday.
The Blues then have a bye before finishing the home-and-away season against ladder-leader Casey Demons - currently undefeated - and seventh-placed Collingwood.
"I will do everything I possibly can during the week at training to make sure I am available," Stevens said.
"Whatever happens, happens but I hope I can play again."
If not, he'll run out for South Warrnambool against Hamilton Kangaroos at Melville Oval.
"I am loving being able to come back and play for South," the Melbourne-based university student said.
"They had a really, really strong win on the weekend (against Warrnambool) so I was pumped for them and the last game I played against Koroit was a tough game but I think we learned a lot."
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