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Mason Cox's future confirmed

Sam Gastin  September 11, 2017 5:30 PM

Mason Cox will remain a Magpie after signing a three-year contract extension with the club which brought him from the United States to Australia.

The 211cm American will stay at the Holden Centre, where he first began honing his AFL skills as a Category B international rookie in 2014.

Since, the Dallas native has played 20 AFL games – including nine as a key forward and ruckman in 2017.

His signature ensures Collingwood will move into 2018 and beyond with the potent ruck combination of Cox and the recently re-signed Brodie Grundy.

GM of List Management Derek Hine holds a strong belief in the strength of the Magpies’ ruck stocks.

“We’re thrilled that we have two outstanding ruckman in our future,” Hine told Collingwood Media.

“The combination of Brodie and Mason is something that we are all looking forward to seeing develop.”

The duo gave a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come in Collingwood’s final game of the home and away season against Melbourne recently.

Grundy returned from suspension and joined an in-form Cox to combine for three goals, 24 hit-outs and seven of the Magpies’ 15 marks in the forward half in a convincing victory against the Demons.

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Mason Cox and Brodie Grundy celebrate Collingwood's round 23 victory over Melbourne. Image: AFL Photos.

Collingwood’s fans and the football department alike will be expecting to see further improvement in 2018 and beyond.

“Mason has made tremendous progress but there is so much more to come from him, which has us really enthused about where he can take his game,” Hine said.

“He wants to learn, he learns quickly and physically he is an imposing package of height and athleticism that, combined with rapidly developing game awareness, makes him an exciting prospect.”

At 26, the American’s remarkable sporting career has already experienced a number of twists and turns. As an ex-soccer player, he was plucked from obscurity to join the Oklahoma State University NCAA basketball team in 2011.

He drew attention from football scouts at the conclusion of his college basketball career and was quickly scouted by a number of AFL clubs, including Collingwood, North Melbourne, Richmond and Port Adelaide.

Since joining the Magpies, Cox’s career has remained anything but traditional. In just three years, he has gone from impressing in the VFL, to kicking a goal with his first kick on ANZAC Day, and teaching our game to former United States Vice President Joe Biden.

Cox is currently enjoying a trip back to the US after a season he described as “another amazing life experience”.

With his AFL future now confirmed to be spent in Black and White until the end of 2020, the ruckman will return to the Holden Centre in November for the start of pre-season training.

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Cox will remain in Black and White in 2018 and beyond. Image: AFL Photos.