Mason Cox says he thought he would retire, hits games trigger clause for Collingwood Magpies, contract, future, finals, latest
Collingwood big man Mason Cox has revealed he originally thought he would retire at the end of the season before winning a mid-year reprieve for the senior team, also confirming that he had hit a trigger in his contract to stay at the Magpies in 2023.
The 31-year-old’s AFL future was in question earlier this year, including playing just two games in the first two months of the season.
But Cox got a recall against Fremantle in Round 10 – usually due to Brodie Grundy’s PCL injury several weeks before creating an opening – with the American’s return coinciding with the Pies’ epic turnaround in their season, winning their next 11 matches.
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And Cox, while not having the same impact as Pies ruckman Darcy Cameron, has enjoyed an improvement in form since returning to the senior squad to hit a games trigger clause, including a dominant performance for the Queen’s birthday as Collingwood climbed into the top four.
Talk to foxfooty.com.auCox opened up about his unexpected twist of fate and how he set up contingencies for his next move after soccer.
“I’ve reached a goal for next year, so hopefully I’ll play here (Collingwood). Obviously there is always a chance that something will change no matter what, but at the moment I have a contract here next year,” he said. foxfooty.com.au during a media opportunity at the AIA Center.
“I didn’t really think it would happen at the start of the year, to be honest I thought I would probably retire at the start of the year.
“We played Brisbane in the fifth leg, I didn’t play very well and my brother was in town. I had a conversation with him wondering what I should do. He said to pull the best out of the next 18 weeks left in the season and then you’ll find out, and start putting some running boards on so you can have something to walk in.
“I started a podcast, started doing a bit more radio and media – that’s something I’m passionate about. It helped me have something to come back to outside of the AFL and football that you know you enjoy and can turn away from.
“It’s helped me in a way to play better on the court and have a more enjoyable experience all around. Playing games and winning definitely helps, but for a decent amount of time I thought, if at the end of the year they don’t give me a contract and nobody else wants, that’s all, and I’d be pretty proud of what I’ve achieved.
“Things change and people get hurt. People keep telling me that football is a marathon, not a sprint. I was lucky to have another opportunity and to be able to show what I am worth. I was so grateful to be able to have this, and it makes you think back to some of those times when things were fleeting.
It comes as Collingwood prepare to take on Fremantle in a do-or-die semi-final on Saturday night at the MCG after the Pies narrowly fell to Geelong by just six points in an epic qualifying final thriller.
Cox was limited to just 46% of playing time against the Cats, but has already had a knack for coming out on top in the playoffs, including his seismic 2018 preliminary final performance against Richmond.
When asked if he has another great post-season performance in him, Cox replied, “I hope so,” with a big smile. “But time will tell as they say.”
The 211cm giant admits he’s always enjoyed performing on the September stage and just maximizing every opportunity that comes his way.
“Sometimes on the big stage you sit and think, ‘f***, how good is that? Let’s make the most of this thing. That’s probably where I got that from,'” he said. -he says.
“I love these experiences. These are very small moments in your life that occur and you should try to make the most of them.
“I still find it funny, because I didn’t even know what the AFL was and now I’m immersed in this baptism of fire of Melbourne media, scrutiny and support and all that goes with it. .
“For me, it’s just an incredible life experience more than anything, it’s about travel and being able to play in the AFL.”