GEELONG ruckman Orren Stephenson is confident he will remain a Cat next season.
Stephenson is in the process of negotiating a new contract for a second year with the club.
The North Ballarat Roosters triple premiership player was given a one-year deal as a shock mature-age selection in last year's AFL national draft.
He told geelongcats.com.au today that he hoped to be re-sign with the Cats in coming weeks but it was still early days.
Stephenson, who turned 30 in July, played eight AFL matches this season and had a strong second half to the season until breaking his hand against West Coast Eagles in round 20.
Should the Cats keep him, Stephenson was determined to be more than a back-up ruckman next year and the competition for spots would continue to encourage him to improve his game quicker each week.
Stephenson will vie for a fourth Victorian Football League premiership within five years when he lines up for Geelong against Port Melbourne on Sunday.
He won three consecutive VFL flags with the Roosters from 2008 to 2010.