While most AFL players grow up dreaming of winning an AFL premiership, that was not the case for Mason Cox.

Given he’d never even heard of the sport until his early twenties, the American Pie's journey has always been unique. But that doesn’t mean the premiership meant any less to him.

In fact, as he took a moment for himself to reflect on the journey amid the victory lap on the last day in September, the enormity of it all began to sink in.

“It was nice to have a moment on my own to look back on the whole journey and look at an empty MCG almost and see the players in front of you celebrating and what it means to them,” he said.

“Just to soak it all in, it’s been a long journey, it’s been nine years from never hearing of the sport to being able to sit on the biggest stage with a medal on my neck at the end of it.

“It was something I definitely enjoyed after, just having a moment of silence.”

While in that moment of reflection, his skipper, and a person that has been alongside him the whole way, briefly interrupted.

“After the game I was sitting there by myself and Darcy Moore came up to me. He’s been there since day one,” he said.

“We lived together for a little chunk and he’s always been someone I’ve leaned on throughout the whole experience.

“I was sitting there soaking it all in, a bit emotional and what not. He was the first person that gave me a hug and we had a few nice words.

“I think that moment of that constant support of him and his family… to have him as that person to come over in that moment of soaking it all up and looking back on the whole experience was pretty special.”

When stripping it right back to the early days in 2014 and 2015, Cox has come a fair way.

Plenty of significant people have come and gone, but it has been his own resilience that has stood firm throughout it all.

“I look back to the early days and there’s Anthony Rocca, Craig McRae, Nathan Buckley giving me my first game,” he said.

“And all the fans, the fans have always been there, and I’ve had a unique journey.

“I’ve had a lot who doubted me in the early days and then were blown away how much I could accomplish in a short amount of time.

“There’s been so many people and the Australian culture that’s supported me through the experience.

“It shows how many amazing people you meet along the way.”

It’s hard for Cox to sum up just what it’s taken to secure his premiership medal, but there is one word that comes to mind.

“Sacrifice is the biggest thing. Sacrifice and execution when the moment comes,” he said.

“You think of all the weekends you’ve stayed in, all the friends you’ve had to say no to when it’s a birthday or special occasion. Missing weddings back home… relationships.

“I’ve had to be selfish in some ways, so you sacrifice a lot to be in that position and do something incredible like that.

“To be able to have that in your back pocket to forever be part of your name as a premiership player is incredible.”

Mason Cox 2023 achievements:

  • Played his 100th game
  • Ranked #2 at Collingwood for hit outs
  • First American to win an AFL premiership
  • Career high goal assists 

Cheers to 16! Shop now in time for Christmas on our Commemorative Premiership Whisky.